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.
Business Aviation » Business Aviation Engines
News and issues relating to business aircraft turbine engines.
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.
London Executive Aviation, a well-known name in the European charter market, is seeking to expand its operations in the Middle East to help it fill return legs and iron out seasonal variations. To make this move the company looking for a similar local operator, with whom LEA could place one or two of their aircraft.
Hawker Beechcraft’s King Air twin-turboprops continue to take the lion’s share of the Middle East turboprop business market, accounting for more than 70 percent of sales over the last three years. However, the type’s good endurance, configuration, capacious cabin and attractive operating economics have also made it a natural platform for a wide variety of special tasks, and many hundreds have been converted for special missions during the type’s long career.
Snecma has started running the first Silvercrest turbofan at its Villaroche test facility near Paris, France. With 11,000 pounds of thrust, two of the units will power the Cessna Longitude super-midsize business jet.
Gleaming on the Safran display (Stand 357) is a mock-up of the Snecma Silvercrest engine, which has been selected for the Cessna Citation Longitude super-midsize business jet. Displaying the model, which was first shown a few weeks ago at NBAA, underlines the fact that Silvercrest is now a program moving fast towards certification in 2015.
GE Aviation’s new H75 and H85 turboprop engines received EASA certification yesterday. The two new powerplants are, respectively, 750-shp and 850-shp derivatives of the H80 engine, which is itself a derivative of the former Walter M601. FAA type certification of the H75 and H85 is expected next year. Last week, China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co. (Caiga) selected the H85 to power its five-seat Primus 150 turboprop single.