Of all the subsegments of the general aviation market, the turboprop field is the only one not experiencing an increase in new development. At airshow after airshow, very light jets, personal single-engine jets, more powerful piston singles and light sport airplanes have seen the greatest amount of activity. Although turboprops are one of the most efficient ways to fly, they are not the shining stars of most product development departments.
Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6
Honeywell announced recently that it had won approval for its TPE331-12JR turboprop to be installed on the Cessna Caravan. The certification was completed in connection with Aero Twin in Anchorage, Alaska, which plans to offer complete retrofit kits, installation and service.
If your King Air 200 is coming up on its second or–worse–third PT6A-41 engine overhaul, you might find the numbers daunting. Fortunately, Blackhawk Modifications of Waco, Texas, offers an alternative in the form of an STC that is far more operator friendly.
Pratt & Whitney Canada said last month its PW600 engine has been selected to power the new Epic Victory single-engine VLJ. Up to that point, Epic had used the Williams FJ33-4A for the Victory. P&WC’s PT6A-67 had previously been selected to power Epic’s Dynasty turboprop.
Cessna 208B Caravan, Quepos, Costa Rica, March 22, 2007 – Costa Rican-registered Cessna Caravan TI-BBG landed at the Aeropuerto La Managua, near Quepos, Costa Rica, and when the crew shut down the engine there was an engine fire. The flight, from Cocos to Quepos, was a Sansa domestic passenger commuter flight. The two pilots and seven passengers were not injured.
Six years after opening its doors, two-and-a-half months after flying its first fully conforming aircraft and less than a month after losing company chairman Bruce Kennedy in the crash of a Cessna 182, Quest Aircraft has been awarded the type certificate for its turboprop utility single. The FAA awarded full day/night, VFR/IFR certification for the $1.3 million Kodiak after 32 months of development.
Cessna 208B Caravan, Globe, Ariz., July 22, 2005–The NTSB determined that the probable cause of the crash of Caravan N717BT was the fatigue failure of the compressor turbine stator vane, the liberation of vane material into the compressor turbine (damaging the turbine blades downstream) and the total loss of engine power.
Eagle Copters of Calgary, Alberta, has delivered its first three single-engine Bell 212 conversions. The “Eagle Single” features a single Honeywell T53-17A or B turboshaft engine in place of the 212’s Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6T-3B Twinpac.
The AgustaWestland AW119 Ke received EASA certification at the Paris Air Show last month. The helicopter, a derivative of the A119, was announced in late February at this year’s Heli-Expo in Orlando. The Ke (it stands for Koala enhanced) is powered by a single 1,000-shp P&WC PT6B-27A and has a higher mtow than the standard A119. U.S. certification is expected this fall, the company said.
Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) continues to consider a possible new turboprop design that could provide a sufficient advance on the PT6, which through its myriad variants offers 700 to 2,000 shp. However, for the moment at least, the manufacturer sees no immediate prospect of moving on from the ubiquitous powerplant to a new-generation engine in the same power range.