The current type certificate holder of the venerable Bell 47 might be interested in putting the iconic piston helicopter back into new production.
Gippsland Aeronautics, Australia’s only commercial aircraft manufacturer, is developing a 10-seat turboprop version of its eight-seat, GA-8 Airvan piston single, which was certified by the Australian CAA in December 2000. The turboprop GA-10T Taska is part of a three-year joint research-and-development program of Gippsland and Helitech of Brisbane, Australia.
Piper Aircraft laid off another 150 workers last month, not because of the slow economy, as in previous layoffs, but due solely to last year’s ADs and recall of Textron Lycoming engines, according to a company spokesman. Piper Saratogas and Mirages are among the airplanes powered by Lycoming engines. Piper also claimed the problem stopped the “step up” process wherein owners of Saratogas and Mirages move up to the Meridian turboprop.
Bell Helicopter CEO Richard Millman yesterday emerged from the company’s booth (No. 1333) long enough to explain to HAI Convention News what he’s been up to since taking the helm of the company in January.
Kansas City Aviation Center’s Chesterfield, Mo. facility has been given an FAA Part 145 designation. Midwest Aviation Center (MWAC) was established last August by KCAC on Spirit of St. Louis Airport. The facility is approved for all small aircraft, the Pilatus PC-12 and Piper Malibu/Meridian series, King Air 200 and Citation 500 series. It is also approved to service most Continental and Lycoming engines as well as the TPE331, PT6 and JT15.
Several Iranian manufacturers have joined a pursuit of a growing local market for affordable light airplanes for initial training and leisure flying. A proliferation of flight schools that cater to an expanding base of rich and middle-class Iranians has driven the recent surge in demand. The export market presents another opportunity, and a few Iranian-built aircraft have reportedly gone to customers in Australia.
In the rating codes chart in AIN’s 2004 product support survey (August, page 20), the overall average shown for Honeywell (Allied Signal/Textron Lycoming) turbofan engines should be 5.592. The value is incorrectly given as 6.592. Also, the overall average for Turbomeca turboprop/turboshaft engines should be 5.771. It is incorrectly given as 6.771.
Lycoming Engines is devoting a generous portion of its Williamsport, Pa. plant to its Thunderbolt Advanced Technology Center, which is expected to produce advancements in design, parts and materials. The first such innovation, valve train roller tappet technology, is on view at its booth, No. 1319.
Lycoming Engines (Booth No. 1009) is at Heli-Expo 2006 highlighting certification and delivery of aircraft piston engines with roller tappet valve train technology, changes to the company’s exchange engine core policy and formation of a new Advanced Technology Center.