The presence of Parker Hannifin Corp. (Hall 5 Stand D36) at this Paris Air Show underscores its research-and-development commitment in fields such as system health, “adaptive energy” and fuel tank safety. For example, its energy-harvesting predictive health monitoring device will allow operators to supervise the vitality of an aircraft’s systems by measuring component vibrations during flight.
Internal combustion engine
Just two days after the second Rolls-Royce RR300-powered Robinson R66 made its first flight in February, Robinson Helicopter CEO Frank Rob- inson still had little good to say about small turbine-powered helicopters.
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.
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.
Of the many companies that have attempted to tackle world markets with a new-technology piston engine for light singles and twins, only Thielert in Germany has demonstrated some success. For that it can thank in some measure Diamond Aircraft, an Austrian company that has established a firm niche as a supplier of all-composite light aircraft, including the DA 42 twin-engine aircraft on display here in the static park.
Honeywell will announce a new APU at the NBAA Convention this month aimed at turboprops, light jets and small helicopters. The company said the RE-50 is the first oilless and gearless APU with an integrated generator on the same shaft, and at 50 pounds it is about one-third the weight of Honeywell’s RE-150.
The Wilson Air Center FBO chain, exhibiting at the Shell Aviation Booth (No. 405), has solved a weighty problem in fuel sales by introducing a system on its fuel trucks that registers fuel uploads in pounds as well as gallons. Fuel sales of avgas and jet-A have heretofore been indicated in gallons.
One of the technologies that Honeywell says promises to revolutionize aircraft design is something known as “more electric architecture” (MEA). This “breakthrough” technology will replace much of today’s heavy and maintenance-intensive pneumatic and hydraulic fluid and power systems, enabling OEMs to design aircraft with lighter, simpler and more reliable “electric” systems instead of miles of tubing, pumps and valves.
Two new developments from BAE Systems Advanced Technology Centre promise to markedly enhance performance of aircraft through the innovative use of new-age sensor technologies.
Meggitt (Stand A536) is introducing a number of products, including new developments in engine monitoring equipment revealed by its Vibro-Meter subsidiary. Fitted on the Boeing 737, for example, the new vibration monitors continuously check specific engine bearings and detect unusual signatures using advanced signal processing.