Despite some vacillation on the part of airframe OEMs still studying the form their respective 90-seat turboprop might finally take, development of Pratt & Whitney Canada’s engine offering continues on what company vice president of marketing Richard Dussault called a critical path leading to expected launch next year.
Diamond Aircraft is exhibiting a mockup of a DA50 single with a 450-shp Motor Sich-Ivchenko AI450S turboprop engine this week at Aero Friedrichshafen 2013 in Germany. This engine would improve the performance of the seven-seat airplane, which was announced in 2006 with a 275-hp diesel engine as the DA50 SuperStar. Since then the SuperStar’s development stalled and it has yet to be certified, even though this milestone was originally planned for mid-2010.
Jim Rice, chairman and CEO of VisionAire Jets, surfaced at ABACE 2013 this week in Shanghai to market the benefits of a single-engine jet and tell potential investors about the program. VisionAire Jets is developing the all-composite Vantage Jet, which will be powered by a single Williams International FJ33-3AP turbofan and fly up to 1,500 nm with a pilot and five passengers.
Raisbeck/Hartzell swept-blade “turbofan propellers” entered service this month on a King Air B200. This aircraft is also the first installation of the Epic Platinum Performance Package with the new swept-blade props.
Southeast Turbines has completed renovating its 10,000-sq-ft facility at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport. The FAA-certified repair station specializes in the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A, PT6T and JT15D. Southeast Turbines’ capabilities include on-wing hot-section inspections, compressor-turbine disk reblade, true and balance, small exit duct rework to include “zero grind” hot-section installations, unscheduled power section repairs, fuel nozzle cleaning/recertification and bleed valve overhaul.
While general aviation began to show signs of recovery in 2012, boosted by strong growth in rotorcraft and the agricultural turboprop aircraft segment, the slow economic recovery and economic uncertainties continued to plague business jet and multi-engine piston deliveries. However, “We see growth in business aviation demand over the long term driven by a growing U.S. and world economy, especially in the jet, turboprop and turbine rotorcraft markets,” the FAA said in its “Aerospace Forecast for Fiscal Years 2013-2033,” released yesterday.
Airborne Engines (Booth No. N5804), a subsidiary of M International, used Heli-Expo ’13 as the venue for signing a memorandum of understanding with Rolls-Royce to become an authorized maintenance center (AMC) for the M250 engine line. M International’s Airborne Engines, a supplier of aftermarket technical, MRO and supply-chain management services, will perform the M250 maintenance at its 32,000-sq-ft facility in Delta, British Columbia (Canada).
The FAA has adopted a new airworthiness directive, effective March 26, for certain serial number Pratt & Whitney Canada PW206B/B2/C and PW207C/D/D1/D2/E turboshaft engines. The AD was prompted by the discovery that certain power turbine (PT) disks were made to heat codes that may not achieve the maximum in-service life. This AD requires re-identification of the PT disk to a part number (P/N) with a lower life limit.
The U.S. military grounded its fleet of Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighters after a routine engine inspection revealed a cracked turbine blade in an F-35A based at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The precautionary flight suspension was announced on February 22, following an inspection earlier in the week. The grounding affects all three variants of the fighter, for a total of 51 aircraft.
Dean Athans has been named president of the Engine Alliance, succeeding Mary Ellen Jones, who is returning to a senior leadership position at Pratt & Whitney. Athans joins Engine Alliance from the GE Power & Water Aero Derivatives business, where he led the LMS100 power turbine product line since 2010. Before that, Athans spent 25 years at GE Aviation, where he held many technical, operation and commercial leadership roles.