I recently had the chance to fly one of the King Air C90s re-engined with two Walter M601E-11s, which are 751-shp engines flat rated to 550 shp for this installation. The airplane we were flying was N800RP, a 1974 King Air C90, S/N LJ-628. Dan Sigl, owner of Seagull Aviation, which is working on a conversion package for King Air 90s and 100s, agreed to bring the aircraft to my home base, Solberg Airport in New Jersey.
A major research program launched three years ago by the European Union has identified open rotors and natural laminar flow as key technologies to be taken forward in the Clean Sky joint technology initiative and potentially into the mooted replacement for the Airbus A320.
Honeywell and Pratt & Whitney Canada have agreed to start doing component repairs on some models of each other’s engines. The details of the agreement are still to be formalized, but it is expected that it will cover Honeywell’s TPE331 turboprops and TFE731 turbofans, as well as its 36-100 and 36-150 auxiliary power units. It will also apply to P&WC’s PW100 and PT6 turboprops and its JT15D turbofan.
BEECH 1900D, ROCHESTER, N.Y., JUNE 3, 2000–The Safety Board determined probable cause for a gear-up landing by a CommutAir Beech 1900D during a regularly scheduled flight. According to the NTSB, “The reversal of landing gear hydraulic lines by company maintenance personnel [caused the failure].
The flight department of Greek-based construction company Consolidated Contractors International was faced with a challenge when the group’s 82-year-old chairman asked them to fit his Bombardier Challenger 601-3R with a wheelchair lift. Their boss’ arthritic knees made boarding the aircraft painful, and he was sick of the indignity of having to have the crew lift him up the steps.
Price Induction, a startup company based in Anglet, France, is studying a 560-lb-thrust high-bypass-ratio turbofan that would establish a new thrust class. Applications of the DGEN380 would be four-seaters, allowing pilots to upgrade from piston singles to twinjets. Another market could be airline-pilot training.
French engine manufacturer Snecma is developing a new high-pressure core for regional jet applications, dubbed DEM 21 for “21st century demonstrator,” in the 12,000- to 17,000-lb-thrust range. The program may provide the basis for variants capable of powering regional airplanes of up to 70 seats.
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.
GE Druck has introduced a new air-data line-switching unit to make it easier for operators to test their pitot-static systems. The LSU-105 unit uses manually switched color-coded valves to allow crewmembers to connect the test equipment quickly to the aircraft’s pitots. The unit can conduct multiple tests simultaneously to reduce downtime. Each of the four pitot-static channels can be isolated to allow independent instrument testing.