Pratt & Whitney Canada’s prospects in the business jet and general aviation markets remain bright despite the air of economic uncertainty stemming from the U.S. investment industry crisis, according to senior company officials.
GE Honda Aero Engines has started building the first HF120 engine for FAA certification testing scheduled to begin early next year.
Hardware for this engine began arriving at General Electric’s Lynn, Mass. facility last month, keeping the program on track for certification later next year. Honda Aircraft’s HondaJet and the Spectrum Aeronautical S40 Freedom are launch customers for the 2,095-pound-thrust HF120.
UK-based Rolls-Royce and GKN Aerospace have established a joint venture to study the use of composite materials in fan blades. The engine manufacturer and the aerostructure specialist are investing, on a 51-49 basis, £11 million ($22 million) in
a research and development program. For Rolls-Royce, this could signal a major shift from a well established design choice.
The governor of Missouri has signed a bill eliminating sales tax on aircraft repair parts, aligning the state with neighboring states having similar laws. Before passing the law, Missouri exempted aircraft used to carry people and property, but now the tax exemption applies to all materials, replacement parts and equipment used for modification, repair, replacement and maintenance of aircraft, powerplants and accessories from Jan.
The FAA has issued a proposed Airworthiness Directive for GE CF34 turbofan engines with high-pressure-rotor, four-step, air-balance-piston, stationary seals to remove these seals and incorporate an eight-step seal at the next piece-part exposure.
One of the most expensive consumable items on an aircraft is becoming less expensive to operate. Hydro-Aire, a part of Crane Aerospace & Electronics, has signed a licensing agreement with Dunlop Aerospace’s aviation braking systems division of Coventry, England, for braking system software designed to increase aircraft brake life significantly.
I recently had the chance to fly one of the King Air C90s re-engined with two Walter M601E-11s, which are 751-shp engines flat rated to 550 shp for this installation. The airplane we were flying was N800RP, a 1974 King Air C90, S/N LJ-628. Dan Sigl, owner of Seagull Aviation, which is working on a conversion package for King Air 90s and 100s, agreed to bring the aircraft to my home base, Solberg Airport in New Jersey.
The FAA last month approved upgraded flammability standards for thermal and acoustic insulation materials used in Part 25 (transport category) aircraft. Revised standards include new tests and criteria that address flame propagation and entry into the cabin of an external fire.
Failure of the FAA to publish an advisory circular may prompt the National Air Transportation Association to request an extension of the October 6 implementation date for new repair station rules. The AC is intended to provide guidance for complying with the revised rules, particularly how contract maintenance is to be handled. “Our members need time to digest this,” the association claimed.
Rolls-Royce unveiled a new turboprop engine for general aviation applications on Tuesday at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis. The RR500 turboprop engine is larger than the turboshaft RR300 launched last year and will deliver 350 to 450 shp. Based on the RR300 core, the RR500 features a higher mass flow compressor and correspondingly matching turbine, as well as an exhaust-down configuration, a gearbox and propeller controls.