A switch from composite to titanium for the inner walls of the thrust reversers on the Boeing 737 Max has allowed designers to increase the fan diameter in the airplane’s CFM International Leap-1B turbofans without a proportional increase in the size of the nacelle. The relatively minimal growth of the nacelle means Boeing could keep its original plans for coping with the small amount of ground clearance margin available while optimizing thrust levels, explained 737 Max program vice president and general manager Keith Leverkuhn.
The price of maintaining Rolls-Royce Spey engines, which power the Gulfstream II and III, has dropped dramatically over the last several years, according to MRO shops and operators. Gulfstream made 460 GIIs and GIIIs between 1966 and 1987, but operators increasingly are scrapping them in response to rising fuel prices and more stringent anti-noise requirements that will require the installation of hush kits or restrict operations.
The Tech 800 core engine demonstrator made its first run last month at Turbomeca’s Bordes, France headquarters, the company announced last week. A high-pressure spool for the 1,100-shp engine class, the Tech 800 is a precursor to the engine manufacturer’s TM800 Arrano. The Arrano turboshaft will power the Eurocopter X4 medium twin, a Dauphin successor planned for 2017.
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.
Bell Helicopter has tapped Honeywell to provide the auxiliary power unit (APU) and environmental control system for the new Bell 525 Relentless, which is scheduled to start flying next year. The Honeywell RE100 APU selected for the super-medium twin helicopter is lighter and more fuel efficient than competing systems, according to Honeywell. Honeywell’s AC-5510 environmental control system will provide heating and air-conditioning for the 16-passenger helicopter.
The U.S. military cleared the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to return to flight on Thursday, ending a week-long cautionary grounding that was ordered after an engine inspection revealed a cracked turbine blade on an F-35A test aircraft at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.