In a study released today entitled “The Market for General Aviation/Utility Aircraft 2007-2016,” Forecast International said it anticipates a decline in corporate demand for twin turboprops in favor of the fractional ownership of turbofan-powered aircraft. Further, it expects this trend to accelerate as more sub-$4 million very light jets are delivered.
For many years, the one market segment that General Electric’s turbine engine-manufacturing business didn’t serve was aircraft that use smaller turboprop engines. But that is changing; GE announced yesterday that it is buying Czech engine manufacturer Walter Engines. Based in Prague, Walter has manufactured more than 37,000 aircraft engines since 1923.
The FAA is accepting comments until August 16 on a proposed Airworthiness Directive that would affect as many as 3,572 TFE731-2 and -3 turbofans on U.S.-registered aircraft. If the measure is enacted, the engines’ low-pressure turbine stage 1 disks would have to be repetitively checked for fatigue cracks. An estimated 1,900 of those engines would require disk replacement under the proposed AD.
Dassault senior v-p for civil aircraft Olivier Villa has clarified that the unusually high thrust (two 10,000-pound engines) on the still-under-wraps super-midsize Falcon will be put to work for maximizing climb and cruise performance. There has been speculation about why the manufacturer asked Rolls-Royce to supply turbofans with significantly more thrust than the 7,000 pounds common in this market segment.
Cessna 208B Caravan, Globe, Ariz., July 22, 2005–The NTSB determined that the probable cause of the crash of Caravan N717BT was the fatigue failure of the compressor turbine stator vane, the liberation of vane material into the compressor turbine (damaging the turbine blades downstream) and the total loss of engine power.
Rolls-Royce has revealed exclusively to Aviation International News details of an entirely new family of two-shaft engines under development to power business jets and large regional aircraft.
No aircraft flies with MTU engines, and yet MTU is involved in one third of all aircraft engine programs. MTU is the largest independent maintenance provider for aircraft engines and is associated with the production in many major engine programs. It is also leading Europe’s NEWAC research program, aiming to develop a new-technology engine-core concept.
Confidence in Pratt & Whitney’s geared turbofan (GTF) program is such that company president Steve Finger is talking about a potential widebody application for the engine. “We’re looking at that for late next decade,” he told Aviation International News.
Having passed responsibility for an engine for the planned Bombardier C Series 110- to 149-seat jetliner to its U.S. parent, Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) says time devoted to the exercise has not been wasted. Rather, it is contributing to work on a 10,000- to 14,000-pound-thrust design–dubbed X10–aimed at a future generation of large business and corporate jets.
The Franco-Russian Powerjet SaM146 turbofan engine, which is to power the Sukhoi Superjet 100 regional airliner, is set to fly by the end of this month. The first example of the 14,000- to 17,500-pound-thrust family made its first ground run in July 2006 at Rybinsk in Russia.