As preparations continue for running a full open-rotor engine demonstrator in 2016 under Europe’s Clean Sky research effort, French engine maker Snecma (Hall 4 Stand B12) sees the program’s participants reaching a consensus as whether or not to proceed in the 2017-to-2019 time frame. Clean Sky, which also involves Airbus, Rolls-Royce and French research center Onera, has provided a relatively unexpected discussion platform, thus facilitating a general agreement.
Internal combustion engine
Pratt & Whitney Canada started running a full PW800 engine demonstrator late last year, company vice president of business aviation and military programs Michael Perodeau told AIN yesterday. He confirmed that the demonstration effort has progressed according to plan but gave little detail.
The diesel engine research and development project that Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter) is conducting with racing car engine specialist Teos Powertrain Engineering and engine manufacturer Austro Engine, under Europe’s Clean Sky joint technology initiative, has cleared significant milestones. The demonstration engine is now being tested on an iron bird, before the first flight planned for this year on a modified EC120.
What turned out to be a big week for Boeing with the formal launch of its new 777X widebody also promises to be a big week for the engine that will power it, the GE9X. Dubai Airshow visitors can get a sneak preview of the 102,000-pound thrust turbofan through a new 3-D representation of the equipment at the GE Aviation exhibit (Chalet A9).
Development is progressing on schedule for GE’s Passport 20 engine, which is scheduled for certification in 2015 and is expected to enter service in 2016 on Bombardier’s Global 7000 and 8000 ultra-long-range twinjets.
While GE has earned renown for its military and commercial engines, until recently its experience in the business aviation arena had been limited to the CF34, which has powered Bombardier’s large-cabin Challengers for the past 30 years (as well as the airframer’s CRJs and Embraer’s ERJ regional jets).
Rolls-Royce is preparing technologies for the next generation of business jet turbofans and the design engineers’ motto seems to be “smaller, faster, leaner.” Karsten Mühlenfeld, Rolls-Royce executive v-p of engineering and technology for civil small and medium engines, provided AIN with details on future designs that will feature swifter development cycles, near-perfect reliability and reduced acquisition costs.
A day after watching Pratt & Whitney’s PW1500G engines lifting Bombardier’s new CSeries airliner for its long-awaited first flight on September 16, Pratt & Whitney Canada president John Saabas told AIN that the new turbofan’s PurePower technology PW800 cousin will soon be delivering the same step change in operating efficiency and low noise to the business aviation sector.
Electroair’s electronic ignition system is now a factory option for Aviat Aircraft’s Husky utility piston single-engine airplane. Electroair added the Husky to its Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) approved model list just before EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, according to Michael Kobylik, president of the Howell, Mich.-based company. Electroair is working with Aviat on certification of the electronic ignition system for six-cylinder Lycomings in the Pitts Special and in Aviat’s Eagle biplane kit.
Safran’s SMA unit announced a new and larger jet-A fuel-powered piston engine at AirVenture on Tuesday. The turbocharged SR460 six-cylinder engine will have applications in the 330 to 400 horsepower range, will be available in 2015 and will have a target 2,400-hour time between overhaul (TBO) interval.
Engineered Propulsion Systems (EPS) is preparing two recently purchased Cirrus SR22s as flying testbeds for its clean-sheet design Vision 350 diesel aero engine. One of the airplanes is located at EPS’s New Richmond, Wis. headquarters, while the other is being prepared for flight testing in a hangar at the Mojave airport in California. The engine is on display outside the Innovation Pavilion at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, mounted to an SR22 firewall.