Aerometals has received PMA approval for spiral bevel gears for the main rotor transmission of the MD500. According to the company, the approval marks the first time the FAA has granted manufacturing approval for transmission gears to a company that is not the OEM. The testing required a test stand using a 500-hp electric motor instead of a gas turbine. The MD transmission is rated for 425 hp for up to five minutes, but Aerometals ran the gears for eight hours at 467 hp to satisfy FAA testing requirements.
Another player has joined those offering engine upgrades on the Cessna Caravan. Earlier this summer, Blackhawk Modifications (Booth No.
Ground-support equipment manufacturer Lektro sold the first of its new AP8350 towbarless tugs to Monticello Air, Napa, Calif., which will use it to tow an Adam A500 piston twin. The AP8350 is designed for sub-10,000-pound airplanes like very light jets, according to Lektro, but not for heavy-duty users like FBOs or large fleet operators.