Pratt & Whitney Canada (Booth No. 463) now has two major new business aircraft powerplant programs underway, with Bombardier having just selected it to provide the PW308B turbofan for its new Learjet 85 model. Meanwhile, detailed design work has begun for the PW810 engine that will drive Cessna’s new Citation Columbus large cabin aircraft.
What presented the impetus for the PW810’s development?
When we started to talk about the PW800 family [in the late 1990s], we were talking about an engine for the next generation of regional aircraft.
A St. Louis-area maintenance facility is finalizing flight-test data required to support a Sabreliner 65 reduced vertical separation minimum (RVSM) compliance package. Avmats of Chesterfield, Mo., expects to receive group certification in October for Sabre 65s. The RVSM package includes replacement of the jet’s Collins ADC-80K air-data computer with new dual Collins ADC-87A air-data computers.
Last month NASA made the first flight of an experimental “wing warping” Boeing F/A-18 flying testbed. In 1903 the Wright Brothers used wires connected to their control column to twist the wings of their Flyer, changing the airfoils’ shape to provide differential lift to control bank. NASA calls the 21st century version of wing warping the “active aeroelastic wing,” or AAW.
Turbine-engine technology development is going in two directions. One is the development of new technology to push the envelope of performance, operational safety, maintainability and reliability. The other is to refine and update existing engines for long-term use, especially in light of more stringent Stage 4 requirements and existing Stage 3 rules.
Aero Toy Store has been appointed the factory authorized representative of Aerion for the sale of the company’s supersonic business jet. The agreement allows the initial sale of 12 of the new jets, which will cruise at speeds up to Mach 1.6 at altitudes of up to 51,000 feet. It has a range of 4,000 nm.
Pratt & Whitney insists its geared turbofan (GTF) engine will have “fuel burn parity” with the competing open-rotor designs being studied by CFM International, Rolls-Royce and Snecma, all of whom have rejected geared fans as the way forward.
Sikorsky Aircraft has selected Eaton Corp. (Stand No. P39) to design and manufacture the primary hydraulic power generation system for the U.S. Marine Corp’s new heavy-lift CH-53K helicopter.
During the development phase of the program, which runs through 2014, Eaton will provide the systems and components for five to 10 shipsets, in addition to a number of test sets. The Marines expect to buy more than 156 CH-53Ks.
The efficiency of the gas turbine engines that power today’s commercial and military aircraft is approaching the highest level possible with current turbofans. But a totally new technology being pioneered by GE Aviation and researchers worldwide promises far simpler, more efficient engines that will extend aircraft range, cut fuel costs and reduce emissions.
France-based engine manufacturer Snecma has reported “positive results” for the first 35 ground test hours of its Silvercrest core engine. In an unusual move, the company has begun the test program without announcing a launch application for the new turbofan, which is targeted for applications on future super-midsize to large business jets. The core engine achieved “all the expected performance objectives” for these combustion trials.