The new Indian government has issued the request for proposal (RFP) for 56 transport aircraft worth an estimated $2 billion, to replace the Indian Air Force’s aging Hawker Siddeley 748M twin-turboprops, known as Avros. The final date for submission of bids is August 28. The contract is expected to be awarded late next year or early in 2016.
The Munich factory of Europrop International (EPI) is ramping up production of its 11,000-shp TP400 turboprop engine to an annual 96 units to support Airbus A400M military transport deliveries in the coming years.
At the same, EPI is carefully following the recent entry-into-service of the first three aircraft, without having any major issues to report. For the joint-venture company’s four partners–Rolls-Royce, Snecma, ITP and MTU–this phase is thus looking much quieter than during the A400M’s troubled development.
Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group (Chalet C26) is developing an external auxiliary fuel tank for the Bombardier Q400 turboprop, providing an extra 10,000 pounds of fuel in two external pannier tanks. This extra capacity raises the Q400’s endurance up to 12 hours, which could be useful for a range of missions.
Bombardier will offer the tanks as an official option on the Q400, which has been selected as the platform for a number of maritime patrol and other special-mission proposals.
Aviation Industry Corporation of China (Avic) has chosen Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PW150C engine to power the new MA700 regional turboprop, P&WC (Exhibit Outdoor Exhibit 3/4) announced at Farnborough 2014. The PW150C will provide increased performance over the PW150A turboprop designed for the Bombardier Q400, the manufacturer said.
India’s SpiceJet has contracted with Dowty Propellers to support the propellers on the airline’s 15 Bombardier Q400 NextGen regional turboprops. The eight-year contract covers repairs, overhaul, technical assistance, rotable spares and on-site support. Dowty will provide mobile service engineers to perform repairs both on-site and in the field.
When Daher-Socata of Tarbes, France, embarked on developing the TBM 900 single-engine turboprop as an update of the TBM 850), it took the opportunity to restore some of the sports-car swagger of the TBM 700, progenitor of the TBM turboprop line.
Sparkle Roll Jet chairman Ji Zingzhuo (left) celebrated delivery here at Farnborough of the first P.180 Avanti II Extended Range twin-turboprop with Carlo Logli, CEO of Piaggio Aero.
Canada’s Bombardier unveiled a cargo-passenger variant of its Q400 in Farnborough on Tuesday, adding one more choice to a growing list of configurations for the versatile turboprop.
Available in various arrangements, the combi version offers up to 8,200 pounds of cargo capacity and as much as 1,150 cubic feet of volume. Using Class C cargo compartments, the so-called high-cargo version can hold 50 passengers at a 32-inch seat pitch. Bombardier claims it has entered “advanced” discussions with a number of potential Q400 combi customers.
The new Textron Aviation is here at Farnborough (Outdoor Exhibit L2) to show a portfolio of current production aircraft that are available in special mission configurations. The company is displaying a special mission Beechcraft King Air 350ER among other aircraft.
In March, Providence, Rhode Island-based Textron acquired the parent company of Beechcraft for $1.4 billion. It then combined Beechcraft and the former Hawker with its own Cessna Aircraft subsidiary to create Textron Aviation, offering a range of single-engine piston, turboprop and jet aircraft.
While ATR and Bombardier continue to vacillate over plans to introduce a new 90-seat turboprop, Pratt & Whitney Canada keeps moving forward with a powerplant it believes will deliver a 20-percent fuel burn improvement over existing engines in the 5,000- to 7,000-shp range by the turn of the decade. Dubbed the Next Generation Regional Turboprop (NGRT), the engine would feature an all-new compressor, a miniaturized version of Pratt & Whitney’s patented Talon combustor and (probably) an eight-blade propeller.