GE Aviation is no stranger to the business aviation world. Its CF34 engines have powered Challengers for 30 years, while its larger engines are used by Airbus Corporate Jets and Boeing Business Jets (through its CFM joint venture with France’s Snecma). It is currently bringing the HF120 turbofan (in the GE Honda Aero joint venture with Honda Aircraft) and Passport 20 (for Bombardier’s Global 7000/8000) to the marketplace.
Business Aviation » Business Aviation Engines
News and issues relating to business aircraft turbine engines.
Snecma appears to be giving itself more time before beginning flight-testing of its first business jet engine: the Silvercrest. But the apparent delay in what had been projected at last year’s EBACE show as a first flight in the first half of 2013 will likely have little bearing on the certification path for the new turbofan’s first applications.
On May 2, CFM International froze the design for the Leap-1B engine that is to power Boeing’s 737Max narrowbody and, eventually, the Boeing Business Jets derived from the airliner. The engine manufacturer, which is a joint venture between Snecma and GE, has said it on track to achieve the first full engine test in mid-2014, followed by initial flight testing in 2015 and powerplant certification in 2016. The 737Max is due to enter service in 2017.
In a bid to simultaneously reduce both fuel consumption and all pollutant emissions–goals that are often at odds–French aerospace research center Onera and engine manufacturer Snecma are working on the next generation of low-NOx combustors
GE Aviation has started assembling the first Passport development engine for the Bombardier Global 7000 and Global 8000, the company announced yesterday. Testing of the 16,500-pound-thrust turbofan is scheduled to begin in the second quarter.
It’s the little engine that thought it could. And so it did. Fifty years and more than 41,000 engines later, the PT6 from Pratt & Whitney Canada is in use by more than 6,500 operators in 182 countries. Compared with the original PT6, the latest PT6A is four times more powerful, has a 40 percent better power-to-weight ratio and 20 percent better fuel consumption. Did we mention safety? The current in-flight shutdown rate is one event per million flight hours. Heli-Expo visitors can help Pratt & Whitney Canada celebrate the PT6 50th anniversary today at 12:30 p.m.
In January, Beijing Capital Helicopter took delivery of its first Eurocopter EC135P2+ in executive livery, and the company is using it for a regular charter operation from the capital to Buddhist spiritual sites.
The charter was especially active during the Chinese Lunar New Year holidays, ferrying passengers to the Wutaishan Mountain area, a well known site of Buddhist temples and monasteries about 160 nm from Beijing Badaling Airport. The Buddhist spiritual center is about a seven-hour journey by train from Beijing. The flight by helicopter is as little as an hour-and-a-half.
China Aviation Industry General Aircraft (Caiga), a subsidiary of state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (Avic), has started the “trial production” of a prototype for the new business jet it is planning to develop based on the existing Cirrus Vision SF50 design. Caiga acquired U.S.-based Cirrus Industries in 2011.
Lufthansa Technik (Stand 335) is preparing to receive a second Boeing 747-8 for VIP conversion by the company’s VIP & Executive Jet Solutions division at its Hamburg plant. The first 747-8 arrived at the end of August and is now into its completion program while the second aircraft is scheduled to arrive later this month, following contract signature at the Dubai Air Show last year.
Royal Jet will celebrate its tenth anniversary next May, and the company is reporting significant growth and its busiest year so far. Last year Royal Jet operated 3,135 flights to 370 cities in 136 countries, and this year already is set to exceed this figure. Revenues in the first quarter of 2012 were up 15 percent, while the company’s summer performance saw a 19-percent increase in flying hours over the same period in 2011.