Turbomeca chairman and CEO Pierre Fabre knows that for his company to grow and prosper, it is not only necessary to sell engines to helicopter manufacturers that deliver all over the world but also to allow engines to be built in countries like China. But it is naïve to think, Fabre said, that there is no risk of losing control of intellectual property when engines are manufactured by non-Turbomeca-owned entities.
A ceramic core facility is under construction in Tampa and slated to be operational by the first quarter of 2012. Chromalloyís new $5 million, 40,000-sq-ft facility will be built adjacent to its two-month-old, $30 million, 150,000-sq-ft industrial investment foundry. It will allow the company to pour up to one million pounds of superalloy turbine components and parts for aerospace, aero-derivative and industrial gas turbine engines.
Columbia Helicopters (Booth No. 7334) has opened a new $4 million engine test cell for the GE T55-714 turbine engine, which is used in military CH-47 “Chinook” helicopters worldwide. The cell is also designed to accept future-design engines. The test cell will enable the company to do “nose-to-tail” maintenance on CH-47s.
“It’s about life-cycle cost management,” Tom Trotter, v-p and general manager of Chromalloy Castings, told AIN about the company’s new 150,000-sq-ft investment casting operation in Tampa, Fla. “We are now able to offer the industry a single source for engine component design, engineering, tooling, machining, repairs, coatings and now castings,” he said.
On October 25, Robinson Helicopter entered a new phase as a manufacturer of turbine-powered rotorcraft when the FAA handed over the new R66’s type certificate to founder Frank Robinson and his son and company president Kurt.
Chromalloy has launched a Web-based catalog of gas turbine engine parts and repairs. “Commercial aircraft operators and engine maintenance and repair shops can search the catalog for aircraft engine parts and repairs. Searches return results instantaneously and allow the user to contact a company representative,” a company spokesman said. The database-driven catalog lists engine information by manufacturer, engine type and engine section.
A new sales and marketing office has been opened in Dubai by Chromalloy to provide parts and services for the region’s gas turbine engine operators. “Chromalloy is expanding our engine aftermarket business to offer the region’s turbine operators parts, repairs and other services that deliver significant cost savings over original equipment manufacturer pricing,” said company president Armand Lauzon Jr.
Operators of turbine-powered aircraft must avoid flying through volcanic ash clouds, according to engine and airframe manufacturers, but if ash is encountered in flight, there are specific techniques that pilots should use as well as post-flight maintenance procedures. According to the U.S.
Duncan Aviation advises that all operators of Honeywell engines that do not run them frequently and want to keep them off the Damaged Engine List should spool them to N1 rotation speed once a month and make a logbook entry. Duncan also said engines dormant longer than six months require fuel system preservation.
Turbine-engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce predicted robust growth for the global helicopter market over the next decade at a Heli-Expo press conference yesterday, with total deliveries of more than 16,400 turbine helicopters valued at $146 billion in its 2010 to 2019 forecast horizon. The helicopters will require approximately 26,000 new turbine engines valued at about $12 billion, according to the company.