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.
China’s Xi’an Aircraft (XAC) staged a rollout ceremony on June 29 for an improved version of its 50- to 60-seat MA60 turboprop called the MA600. Scheduled to fly next month, the MA600 weighs some 650 pounds less than its predecessor and incorporates upgraded avionics and cabin enhancements, according to Chinese state-run media.
Sikorsky’s Keystone Helicopter division is gearing up to produce both the S-76D and the S-92 at its Coatesville, Pa. Heliplex campus. The first S-76D is scheduled to fly by year-end, but Keystone’s president, David Ford, acknowledges, “That’s going to be a challenge.” Keystone has received three S-76D fuselages from Aero Vodochody and hopes to ship the first completed S-76D to Sikorsky’s West Palm Beach, Fla.
A Superior Court of Arizona judge has dismissed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against Cessna stemming from the crash of a 1980 Model 210 in October 2000 that killed the pilot and his wife. In rejecting the suit, the judge cited the General Aviation Revitalization Act (GARA) of 1994, which protects general aviation manufacturers from most product-liability claims involving airplanes more than 18 years old.
A more powerful, better performing Caravan 208 with improved fuel burn is the goal of Anchorage-based Aero Twin, which is working on a mod to convert the turboprop single from its original 675-shp P&WC PT6 to the 850-shp Honeywell TPE331-12JR-701S. Aero Twin, which first flew a prototype “850 Caravan” on October 2 and had expected to receive an STC for the conversion this spring, has pushed back its certification target to the fall.
CFM International partners General Electric and Snecma have extended their successful 34-year partnership until 2040 and revealed plans to develop an all-new engine, provisionally called the Leap-X. The engine will provide 16 percent more fuel efficiency than today’s CFM56; however, it will not be offered for retrofit to existing aircraft.
BBA Aviation’s engine repair and overhaul division has added 16 new engine models to its existing authorizations on Pratt & Whitney Canada engines. The additions encompass eight new variants of the PT6A, seven variants of the PW100 and one variant of the PW500.
Messier-Bugatti (Hall 4 Stand B12) is looking forward to seeing its all-electric braking system on the Boeing 787 when it makes its first flight in the fourth quarter of this year. According to François Tarel, the Safran group subsidiary’s vice president for wheels and brakes, the system received its “safety of flight” approval from Boeing last November, following a series of bench tests.