Six General Electric H80-powered Thrush 510Gs now operate with China’s Beidahuang General Aviation Co., following delivery of the airplanes on September 6. A subsidiary of state-owned Beidahuang Group, in 2012 the company placed the largest single order for Thrush aircraft ever when it committed to 20 Thrush 510Gs. The Thrush 510G agricultural aircraft became the first aircraft to enter service powered by H80 engines in late 2012.
Development is progressing on schedule for GE’s Passport 20 engine, which is scheduled for certification in 2015 and is expected to enter service in 2016 on Bombardier’s Global 7000 and 8000 ultra-long-range twinjets.
While GE has earned renown for its military and commercial engines, until recently its experience in the business aviation arena had been limited to the CF34, which has powered Bombardier’s large-cabin Challengers for the past 30 years (as well as the airframer’s CRJs and Embraer’s ERJ regional jets).
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.