As it seeks to prolong the legacy of its 50-year-old PT6 engine dynasty, Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) is laying plans to refresh the epic product range at the top, middle and lower ends. Speaking with AIN ahead of this week’s NBAA show, P&WC president John Saabas confirmed that the manufacturer intends to cap the PT6 portfolio with a 2,000-shp version of the turboprop but indicated it is not yet ready to target a specific launch date.
Beechcraft King Air
Elliott Aviation is pursuing STCs for Aircell’s new ATG 2000 broadband system in the Hawker 800/850/900, Phenom 300, King Air 350 and King Air B200/B200GT. It hopes to have the approval in hand by next year’s first quarter. The Aircell ATG 2000 is a cabin broadband wireless system aimed at midsize and light jets and turboprops. It allows passengers to connect to the Internet on their laptops, smartphones and tablets.
Euravia Engineering and Greenwich AeroGroup have entered into a partnership to provide maintenance, repair and overhaul services for Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A and PT6T turbine engines on fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft in the U.S. Through its MRO facilities (Atlantic Aero in Greensboro N.C., Summit Aviation in Middletown, Del., and Western Aircraft in Boise, Idaho), Greenwich AeroGroup will provide engine inventory and component storage, logistics and distribution services across the U.S. and also between the U.S. and the UK.
Raisbeck Engineering is now offering its swept-blade propellers for all King Air C90-series turboprop twins. Deliveries of the new blades, which sweep on both the leading and trailing edges, will begin in January. Blade quarter-chord sweep has been increased to 30 degrees at its outer diameter, and the propeller diameter has been lengthened by six inches, to 96 inches.
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.
Beechcraft appointed Delhi-based Arrow Aircraft Sales and Charters as its sole distributor for India. The aircraft manufacturer, which previously handled the Indian market from Singapore, is also preparing to appoint an India-based executive. The new partnership with Arrow was launched on Monday along with a seven-day regional demonstrator tour to showcase the King Air 250 in Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Bhubaneshwar. Some 70 King Airs are already flying in India, and Beechcraft says many of those operators are looking to upgrade their aircraft.
Beechcraft’s primary focus at this week’s JetExpo show will be on helping prospective Russian clients shake off any misgivings they might have about traveling in twin-turboprop aircraft. The U.S. manufacturer is displaying a King Air 350i and and C90GTx at Moscow’s Vnukovo-3 Airport and it will be emphasizing the superior operational flexibility and economics that these aircraft can deliver.
Beechcraft and its aftermarket service and support organization, Hawker Beechcraft Global Customer Support, appointed Air Service Basel in Switzerland as an authorized service center for the company’s King Air series. The designation allows the facility to provide King Air line and base maintenance. The company, which began operations in 1967, is an FBO, as well as an EASA- and FAA-approved maintenance organization and repair station at Euroairport Basel-Mulhouse in Switzerland.
Total GA airplane billings in the first half of the year reached $10.4 billion, an increase of more than 25 percent over the same period last year, according to statistics released last month by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA). The tally marks the first time since 2008 that the industry revenue has exceeded $10 billion in the first half of the year.
BLR Aerospace has appointed Premium Jet as Brazilian dealer for its winglet modifications for the Beechcraft King Air family. The Part 145-approved repair station, based at Afonso Pena International Airport in Curitiba, is approved to sell and install winglets and LED lights for the King Air 90, 200 and 300 series twin turboprops. The performance-enhancing modification has already been approved by Brazil’s ANAC aviation authority.