Recessions come and go, but the quest to develop ever more efficient engines for the next generation of single-aisle aircraft continues. Given the time it takes to develop new powerplant technologies, which can be measured in decades, engine manufacturers have to be more confident than most of eventual recovery in the airline industry if the millions spent on research and development are not to be wasted.
Aerion is here in Dubai to tap what it believes could be strong market for the supersonic business jet (SSBJ) it intends to have certified in 2015. According to the U.S. company, it still holds letters of intent for about 50 of the aircraft and has had to refund only two deposits since the start of the financial crisis.
If paper was aluminum, glass and titanium instead of just paper, two Nevada-based groups developing supersonic business jet designs would have revolutionary aircraft ready to fly. To date, though, the specifications publicized by Aerion in Reno (Booth No.
The design of new airframes always depends heavily on availability of new engine types. The very light jet segment, for example, had to wait until engine manufacturers Pratt & Whitney Canada and Williams International designed smaller engines to power a new class of light jet, and the same is true on the upper end of the market, with new large jets spurring development of ever more powerful and efficient turbofans.
In 2009 the annual Product Support Survey produced by NBAA Convention News’ sister publication Aviation International News Williams International keeps the top slot in turbofans and GE stays last, but otherwise almost all the deck gets shuffled. Among turboprop/turboshaft manufacturers, Honeywell remains on top and Turbomeca falls into last place.
For reasons that are not clear, every engine manufacturer scored fewer points in this year’s survey than in last year’s, something that did not happen with the airframers and avionics makers.
Operators of the Pratt & Whitney Canada JT15D series engines have a new option when it comes to overhaul. Aviation Turbines International (ATI) of O’Fallon, Mo., has added the powerplant to its hot section and repair services. ATI will be able to perform complete overhaul of the engine as well as accessories, such as fuel controls, bleed air valve, anti-ice valve, motive flow valve, fuel nozzles and fuel pumps.
GP Aerospace, a Brazilian startup company established by former Embraer technical director Guido Pessotti, has revealed to AIN plans for a personal very light jet, which would be smaller than currently available very light jets.
Dassault Aviation could launch an all-electric Falcon business jet program in 2014 or 2015, said company engineers at a conference held by the ASTech Paris Region aerospace cluster at the Paris Air Show in June.
General Electric (GE) has purchased a 51-percent share of Airfoil Technologies International Singapore, a joint venture between GE and Teleflex, for $300 million in cash. GE previously held a 49-percent share in the company. ATI Singapore, which started operations in 1998, is a repair facility for compressor airfoils.