Pratt & Whitney Canada (Booth No. 463) now has two major new business aircraft powerplant programs underway, with Bombardier having just selected it to provide the PW308B turbofan for its new Learjet 85 model. Meanwhile, detailed design work has begun for the PW810 engine that will drive Cessna’s new Citation Columbus large cabin aircraft.
Rolls-Royce has again peered into its crystal ball and is predicting steady growth in business jet deliveries through the remainder of the decade, it said yesterday here at EBACE. In a longer view, the company forecasts a demand for 39,000 new business jets, ranging from very light jets to bizliners, worth some $715 billion over the next 20 years.
What presented the impetus for the PW810’s development?
When we started to talk about the PW800 family [in the late 1990s], we were talking about an engine for the next generation of regional aircraft.
UK-headquartered Spectro, and Jet-Care, both divisions and trading names of Palace International, Ltd. (Booth No. 1523), have returned to EBACE with their largest ever range of performance monitoring programs, focusing on the Pratt & Whitney Canada series of small turbofans and turboprops. At the same time, Jet-Care is highlighting its condition monitoring service, which it now is offering to helicopter operators.
A year ago, EBACE was full of talk about which engine manufacturers would compete for the upcoming requirement for a 10,000-pound-thrust class engine to power the new generation of super-midsize business jets. At that time, no fewer than five companies appeared to be serious about competing in the sector.
China’s AVIC I Commercial Aircraft Co. (ACAC) last month signed a letter of intent with GE Aircraft Engines that calls for the use of GE’s CF34-10A turbofan to power the proposed ARJ21 regional jet. The CF34-10A engine, scheduled for introduction early in 2004 with the Embraer 190-200, would power both the 79-passenger and the 99-passenger variants of the ARJ21 under the terms of the agreement.
Claiming that Williams International did not meet its “contractual obligations” and is “significantly behind schedule” in development of the EJ22 turbofan for the Eclipse 500 very light twinjet, Eclipse Aviation on November 27 disclosed it has dropped Williams and is negotiating with “two Fortune 100 engine suppliers.” Eclipse 500 certification is expected to be delayed significantly.
Safire Aircraft, thanks to a new “Swiss syndicate of investors,” has gotten fresh funding that it claims will carry development of the S-26 very light jet through the aircraft’s first flight.
Turbine-engine technology development is going in two directions. One is the development of new technology to push the envelope of performance, operational safety, maintainability and reliability. The other is to refine and update existing engines for long-term use, especially in light of more stringent Stage 4 requirements and existing Stage 3 rules.
The PW600 family of small turbofans, in the form of a 2,500-lb-thrust demonstrator engine, entered flight test last month mounted on P&WC’s Boeing 720 testbed. The engine was tested to an altitude of 43,000 ft and performance, handling and relight testing “exceeded our expectations,” said P&WC director of small turbofans Maurice Weinberg. The engine has not yet been selected for any specific airframe.