Pratt & Whitney Canada’s prospects in the business jet and general aviation markets remain bright despite the air of economic uncertainty stemming from the U.S. investment industry crisis, according to senior company officials.
A Hawker 900XP crew recently discovered after landing that a slightly out-of-tolerance closing mechanism can render the cabin door unopenable from inside the airplane, leaving the emergency hatch as the only exit. Luckily, the pilot was able to radio a lineman to grab the keys through the pilot’s side window and unlock the door handle from outside.
The significance of General Electric’s purchase of Walter Aircraft Engines last year has only recently become evident. The American company appears poised to seriously challenge the primacy of Pratt & Whitney Canada as the principal source of turboprop engines for executive aircraft, light transport twins and more.
Record numbers of new aircraft orders, particularly for commercial jetliners, have driven expansion at aerospace precision components and assemblies manufacturer Doncasters (Hall 4, Stand G10). Furthermore, under the new ownership of Dubai Investment Capital (DIC), the UK company is better positioned to invest in its future, according to group chief executive Eric Lewis.
Pratt & Whitney Canada president Alain Bellemare said at a press conference here yesterday that he was optimistic about the continued growth of the engine business, adding that the firm is in a better position than in past downturns because of P&WC’s wide areas of application. He said he believes that when the market starts picking up, this diversity will be useful for the company.
Orders for the Safe Flight AutoPower automatic throttle for the Challenger 604 have reached 120, the White Plains, N.Y. company announced here at NBAA ’02. The system, which delivers synchronized thrust management from takeoff to touchdown, was introduced to the business aviation community at the 1998 NBAA Convention.
The Sino Swearingen SJ30-2 seven-place entry-level jet is making its debut here at NBAA ’02. Having arrived last Friday from the company’s San Antonio, Texas facility, the SJ30-2 will be on static display (No. 16) at Orlando Executive Airport through Thursday. Though Sino Swearingen has brought a prototype SJ30 to previous NBAA conventions, the SJ30-2 currently displayed is the first flying example of the production aircraft.
Rolls-Royce last month made the first run of the 16,000-pound-thrust BR725 engine at its facility in Dahlewitz, Germany. The turbofan was selected to power the new Gulfstream G650, which was unveiled in mid-April. Initial flight-test engines will be delivered to Gulfstream later this year, and the G650 is slated to fly in the second half of next year.
Seventeen Gulfstreams with recently overhauled Rolls-Royce Spey or Tay engines were grounded last month when a problem was discovered with the engines’ air control actuator (ACA), a key fuel control component. All the engines were being, or had recently been, overhauled by either Rolls-Royce or BizJet International. According to Gulfstream, three of the aircraft were already in scheduled maintenance at the time.
Ibis Aerospace came to last month’s NBAA Convention with a restyled full-scale cabin mockup of its Ae270 turboprop single. The new interior provides fully adjustable leather seating in a club arrangement and includes two foldout tables, an ultrasuede headliner, a fabric-covered side ledge, adjustable lighting and environmental controls.