Regional airliner rivals ATR and Bombardier may still be no closer to announcing their long-anticipated new 90-seat twin turboprops, but Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) is determined to be ready with the necessary powerplant for program launches that it views as inevitable. Next month, the engine maker will resume testing of the compressor unit for its proposed New Generation Regional Turboprop engine and it expects to have all testing complete by mid-year.
The FAA is proposing to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A engines. The proposed AD was prompted by in-service events involving the perforation of engine cases as a result of the liberation of power-turbine blades and the fracture/displacement of the power-turbine containment ring.
Boeing has advised GEnx engine operators that it is revising the 787’s and the 747-8’s flight manuals to prohibit flight within 50 nm of thunderstorms that may contain ice crystals. Following Boeing’s recommendation, Japan Airlines immediately announced it would switch aircraft on two routes. From April to November, GEnx-powered aircraft suffered six engine-icing events, according to a GE statement. All aircraft landed at their planned destinations, said the engine maker, and none of the incidents involved in-flight shutdowns–only temporary thrust losses.
What turned out to be a big week for Boeing with the formal launch of its new 777X widebody also promises to be a big week for the engine that will power it, the GE9X. Dubai Airshow visitors can get a sneak preview of the 102,000-pound thrust turbofan through a new 3-D representation of the equipment at the GE Aviation exhibit (Chalet A9).
EADS has set itself an ambitious target for its E-Thrust hybrid propulsion concept, a joint effort with British engine maker Rolls-Royce that went relatively unnoticed when it was revealed at the Paris Air Show in June. The E-Airbus, under its new moniker, is to enter into service in 2030 as a 100-seat regional aircraft.
Rolls-Royce (R-R) has completed a 1,500-cycle test of its new Trent 1000-TEN engine and is well into the demonstration phase ahead of formal testing in early 2014, according to T1000 program chief engineer Gareth Jones. In mid-October, the initial demonstrator unit was being stripped down in R-R’s development department as the company prepared to assemble a second test engine.
The Lockheed Martin Skunk Works revealed a hypersonic aircraft design that can take off and land conventionally using turbine-based combined-cycle engine technology. The company said it has been working with rocket propulsion specialists Aerojet for several years on the project, using company funds. Although the design could lead to a Mach 6 unmanned strike aircraft, Lockheed Martin has dubbed it the SR-72, after the company’s SR-71 Blackbird manned strategic reconnaissance aircraft that reached Mach 3 but was retired in 1997.
Dassault Aviation’s long-awaited unveiling of the Falcon 5X large-cabin, long-range business jet is being accompanied by a number of Falcon 5X supplier announcements.
GE Aviation (Booth No. N5500) is aiming to grow its Business and General Aviation (and Integrated Systems) business to $1 billion in revenues by 2020 from the $300 million level it is at in 2013. This is already significantly up from the $150 million it turned over in 2008.