The term game-changer is grossly overused in aviation, but few would dispute that the arrival on the market of Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PT6 turboprop 50 years ago this year did indeed change the engine game. The breakthrough technology that allowed this innovative turboprop to displace the piston and radial engines of the day was P&WC’s combination of the “free-turbine” and “reverse-flow” inlets.
Safran Microturbo’s new e-APU60 auxiliary power unit is set to enter service by year-end on AgustaWestland’s new AW189 helicopter. Currently, the company had delivered 10 production APUs to the rotorcraft manufacturer and now it is pursuing other business aircraft applications, including small- and medium-sized jets and other rotorcraft.
Hartzell Propeller received FAA and EASA type certificate approval for an advanced swept airfoil structural composite five-blade propeller for the TBM 700 and 850. The new design, specifically engineered for the TBM turboprop single, delivers quicker takeoff acceleration, higher cruise speeds and better climb, along with less noise.
Hartzell Propeller’s “advanced swept airfoil” composite five-blade propeller for the Socata TBM 700/850 has received STC approval from both the FAA and EASA. The new design, specifically engineered for the TBM turboprop single, delivers faster takeoff acceleration, higher cruise speeds and better climb, as well as less noise, it said. According to Hartzell, the new propeller provides for a 100-feet-per-minute faster climb rate, while cruise is two knots faster than with the current four-blade propeller.
United Technologies and Rolls-Royce have agreed to drop plans to collaborate on a new family of engines for the 120- to 230-seat narrowbody market, “following further discussion and because of the current regulatory environment,” said UTC engine subsidiary Pratt & Whitney in a statement released Thursday.
Membership-based private aviation start-up Wheels Up unveiled the exterior livery for its planned fleet of Beechcraft King Air 350i turboprops. France’s Happy Design Studio devised the blue-and-white paint scheme for the New York-based company in just 15 days. Wheels Up placed firm orders and options on 105 King Air 350is last month and expects deliveries to begin next month.
Snecma plans soon to start another phase of open-rotor engine testing using a one-fifth scale model, in a research and technology effort that epitomizes how laborious developing a new commercial engine concept can be. The concept, based on contra-rotating high-speed propellers, may not find itself in service before 2025. Nevertheless, trials aimed at cutting noise while retaining the huge efficiency advantage of the open rotor’s architecture are well under way.
GE Aviation started testing its new fourth-generation composite fan blades for the new GE9X turbofan, the company announced last week. Chosen to power the new Boeing 777X, the 100,000-pound-thrust-class engine promises a 10-percent fuel burn improvement over the GE90-115B–the engine that powers the Boeing 777-300ER.
Engine maker Pratt & Whitney Canada (Stand 2009) is here at LABACE to highlight its engine support capabilities, which are primarily handled through the local service center at Sorocaba in the São Paulo region. Established in 1999, the Sorocaba facility is part of the global PWC support network, reporting to the West Virginia overhaul and service center, but is particularly involved in supporting the more than 2,000 PWC engines that are operational in Brazil.
Brazilian operator TAM Executiva has awarded a contract to Vector Aerospace and its Seca subsidiary to provide maintenance, repair and overhaul covering engines in its fleet. The agreement includes repair, hot-section inspections, testing, modification, overhaul and parts distribution on PT6A and JT15D series turbine engines, and engine repair, major periodic inspection, testing, modification and core zone inspection on the TFE731 series.