Having won the contract to supply new technology turbofan engines for the Dassault SMS, an emerging super-midsize business jet design from the French manufacturer, Rolls-Royce is in Atlanta this week exuding optimism for itself and the industry in general.
For General Electric, the 50/50 partnership with Honda to produce and market the HF120 turbofan is a return to GE’s roots in the small-turbine-engine marketplace. “This relationship with Honda is somewhat of a renaissance,” said Bill Dwyer, president of the GE Honda Aero Engines partnership. “If you look at the heritage of GE, our business started as a small-engine company.”
Snecma plans to unveil a mock-up of its 9,500- to 12,000-pound-thrust Silvercrest engine, as well as divulge more details about the project, at the NBAA Convention in Atlanta next week. The French engine manufacturer also confirmed that it will run a Silvercrest core engine in the fourth quarter.
In a study released today entitled “The Market for General Aviation/Utility Aircraft 2007-2016,” Forecast International said it anticipates a decline in corporate demand for twin turboprops in favor of the fractional ownership of turbofan-powered aircraft. Further, it expects this trend to accelerate as more sub-$4 million very light jets are delivered.
Clifford Development has expanded certification efforts for its Cessna Citation II re-engining and airframe modification program to include the S/II (CE-S550). Like the company’s Citation II program, the modification will include replacing the S/II’s Pratt & Whitney Canada JT15D turbofans with Williams FJ44-3 turbofans, as well as adding winglets and more than 30 other systems enhancements.
On September 10, Walled Lake, Mich.-based Williams International received FAA type certification of its new 1,568-pound-thrust FJ33-4A. The company will follow this milestone with the introduction of yet another turbofan engine.
The FAA is accepting comments until August 16 on a proposed Airworthiness Directive that would affect as many as 3,572 TFE731-2 and -3 turbofans on U.S.-registered aircraft. If the measure is enacted, the engines’ low-pressure turbine stage 1 disks would have to be repetitively checked for fatigue cracks. An estimated 1,900 of those engines would require disk replacement under the proposed AD.
Pratt & Whitney Canada has named EADS SECA, a subsidiary of EADS Sogerma Services, a designated overhaul facility for the PW300 series of turbofans. Engines covered by the agreement include the PW305A/B, PW306A/C and PW308A/C. As part of the appointment, SECA will support PW&C’s Eagle Service pay-by-the-hour plan.
Dassault senior v-p for civil aircraft Olivier Villa has clarified that the unusually high thrust (two 10,000-pound engines) on the still-under-wraps super-midsize Falcon will be put to work for maximizing climb and cruise performance. There has been speculation about why the manufacturer asked Rolls-Royce to supply turbofans with significantly more thrust than the 7,000 pounds common in this market segment.
More parts of Honda’s aerospace puzzle are coming together as the company announced today that its GE Honda HF120 turbofan engines (2,000-pound-thrust class) would be made in North Carolina, where the HondaJet will be manufactured. To date, the engine has been selected to power the Spectrum Freedom and the HondaJet.