Joined by top U.S. transportation officials, Boeing and American Airlines showcased the 737-800 “ecoDemonstrator” flying testbed at Washington Reagan National Airport on September 18. Boeing had flown the aircraft from its flight-test facility at Glasgow, Montana, the preceding day using a biofuel blend made partially from used cooking oil.
General Electric and Rolls-Royce tie for first place among turbofan manufacturers, each scoring an overall average of 8.0 for the quality of product support they provide their customers. Compared with last year, that score represented an improvement of 5 percent for GE and 1 percent for R-R.
GE has finished the first round of checks on all in-service and spare GEnx turbofans ahead of the September 21 publication of a U.S. Federal Aviation Administration airworthiness directive (AD) that calls for ultrasonic inspection of early-build engines’ fan midshafts every 90 days. GE has developed a field ultrasonic method to inspect the suspect area of the engines while they remain on the airplanes.
Joined by top U.S. transportation officials, Boeing and American Airlines showcased the 737-800 “ecoDemonstrator” flying testbed at Washington Reagan National Airport on September 18. Boeing flew the aircraft from its flight-test facility at Glasgow, Montana, one day earlier using a biofuel blend partially made from used cooking oil.
Rolls-Royce has completed testing of the latest build of a research two-shaft engine core, known as “Core 3/2d,” as part of the E3E (efficiency, environment, economy) program. The core evaluation campaign ends without a previously planned endurance test, however. E3E technology forms the basis of Rolls-Royce’s Advance2 future two-shaft engine program, which targets entry into service in 2018.
An airworthiness directive has been issued for all Honeywell TFE731-20R, -20AR, -20BR, -40, -40AR, -40R, -50R and -60 turbofan engines. It was prompted by a report of a quality escape of about 8,000 second-stage low-pressure turbine (LPT2) rotor blades manufactured by Honeywell’s Chihuahua, Mexico, manufacturing operation since 2009. This AD requires removing and inspecting certain LPT2 rotor blades. Cost of the fix is $3,480.
Boeing reported the first flight of the X-48C blended wing body (BWB) research aircraft at Edwards AFB on August 7. The unmanned 8.5-percent scale model reached 5,500 feet during a nine-minute flight. A week later, however, the company’s third X-51 Waverider hypersonic testbed flight ended in failure when its scramjet failed to ignite.
The Italian aviation safety agency, ANSV, issued four recommendations on August 2 to the EASA and Transport Canada about the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127 turboprop engine that powers the ATR 72 regional airliner. The recommendations came after a series of engine failures that all occurred during the initial climb.
GE Aviation Systems is looking to rename its integrated vehicle health monitoring system now that it is ready to see it enter service. The product has a launch application on an undisclosed business jet and is also being evaluated by prospective airline clients. “This turns unscheduled events into scheduled events and could save roughly $8 billion for the industry,” said president and CEO Lynn Bolsinger.
UK-based Reaction Engines has carried out a series of tests on a key component for its new engine, the Sabre, which is capable of operating as both a jet and a rocket engine by employing a translating intake. The novel feature will enable the aircraft–such as the Skylon reusable spaceplane–that the Sabre will power to fly anywhere on earth in less than four hours or directly into space and back to deliver satellites or cargo.