A looming pilot shortage, stubbornly high fuel prices, industry consolidation and new regulations that will require, among other items, first officers to carry an Air Transport Pilots certificate by August 2013 all made their mark on the 37th annual Regional Airline Association convention, held May 21 to 24 in Minneapolis.
Honeywell has shipped the first two new TFE731-40BR engines to Bombardier for the airframer’s new Learjet 70/75 program. The new engine adds 10 percent more takeoff thrust by replacing the -20AR or -20BR engines in the Learjet 40/45 with the -40BR. “We’re turning up the wick, and putting more power to it,” said Michael Bevans, Honeywell director of technical sales, Business and General Aviation.
Pratt & Whitney Canada claims to have improved turnaround times for customers by 20 percent through a number of advances and innovations. For example, its online diagnostic tool enables customers using its PW300 turbofan, PW100 turboprop and PW200 turboshaft engine families to diagnose their engine issues quickly.
Here at the EBACE show, the engine maker is introducing a new product called flight acquisition storage transmission (FAST). This automatically acquires, stores and transmits engine and aircraft flight data for analysis for planned maintenance.
Development is well under way for GE Aviation’s 16,500-pound-thrust GE Passport 20 engine, which is set to power the Bombardier Global 7000 and 8000 business jets. The first engine is to begin ground testing in the second quarter of next year.
GE Aviation (Stand 1143) is here promoting its 800-hp H80 turboprop engine, which was certificated by the U.S. Federal Aviation Adminstration in March and already has several applications. Meanwhile, the HF120 turbofan program–for the HondaJet–has progressed slowly.
The Kuznetsov design bureau, part of the United Engine Corporation (ODK), unveiled a new geared turbofan design at the Engines 2000 exhibition in Moscow last month. The PD30 is proposed for an upgrade to the Antonov An-124 Ruslan heavy airlifter, which is currently powered by the Ukrainian Ivchenko Progress D18T. The PD30 could also power Russia’s proposed widebody airliner, known as Airplane 2020.
Propulsion International has rolled out a new group maintenance plan (GMP) for operators of aircraft powered by Honeywell’s TPE331-10 (and higher dash numbers). One of the first programs offered is for owners of Twin Commander turboprops, but Propulsion International is also offering GMP to Mitsubishi MU-2 and other TPE331 owners, including fleet operators.
In late 2012 CFM International plans to run the third development core, known as “eCore 3,” for the Leap engine it is developing for the Airbus A320neo, Boeing 737 MAX and Comac C919 airliners. On Tuesday, the General Electric-Snecma join venture also announced it is ramping up production, after having delivered 1,354 CFM56s last year.
Soloy Aviation Solutions has developed a repair and overhaul procedure for the composite turbine air inlet assembly installed on several Rolls-Royce 250-B17 turbine conversions. The system prevents ice build-up on the popular Soloy 206H turbine conversion as well as the O&N C210 and Tradewind Turbines A36 Bonanza turboprop conversions. According to Dave Stauffer, Soloy’s CEO, the inlet was originally built by Lucas Aerospace in Great Britain, but the company has changed hands several times over the years.
GE Aviation and Rolls-Royce ended their self-funded development of an alternative engine for the F-35, bowing to Pentagon opposition and looming, deep reductions in U.S. defense spending.