On Saturday at Vero Beach (Fla.) Airport, Piper Aircraft celebrated its 75th anniversary with a fly-in. More than 60 Piper airplanes, ranging from J-3 Cubs to Meridian turboprop singles, flew in for the diamond anniversary event. During the fly-in, Piper announced a Garmin G1000 upgrade for its Seminole and Archer, as well as a launch order from the Florida Institute of Technology for eight G1000-equipped Archers and options for 16 more. Piper and FIT also announced a career alliance to provide enhanced vocational opportunities for FIT aviation program graduates.
China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co., Ltd. (Caiga) has chose GE Aviation’s new H85 turboprop engine to power its new Primus 150 aircraft. Set to be the first purpose-built executive single-engine turboprop built in China, the Primus 150 is a pressurized five-seater with an all-composite carbon-fiber airframe.
Citing its intention to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as the standalone Beechcraft Corp., Hawker Beechcraft notified employees yesterday that it will begin the process of closing Hawker Beechcraft Services facilities in Little Rock, Ark.; Mesa, Ariz.; and San Antonio. The Wichita-based OEM also affirmed that approximately 240 employees will be affected at these locations.
Air Canada announced plans last month to transfer its fifteen 73-seat Embraer E175s to regional affiliate Sky Regional Airlines under the two companies’ existing capacity purchase agreement (CPA). Air Canada plans to start the transition in February and deliver the last airplane to Toronto-based Sky Regional in June.
A new Japanese regional airline called Link plans to place the first of three new 70-seat ATR 72-600s into service during next year’s fourth quarter, marking the introduction of the Franco-Italian turboprops into a market until recently held captive by rival manufacturer Bombardier.
Appearing at the Japan Aerospace Exhibition, held in Nagoya from October 9 to 14, Link said it plans to lease the airplanes, but as of press time it remained unclear whether or not they would come from an existing ATR customer.
New turboprop sales continue their slow, steady climb out of the cellar. For the first six months of this year, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) reports sales of the segment are up 10.5 percent compared with the same period one year ago, with 243 delivered. Hawker Beechcraft King Airs, Pilatus PC-12s and Cessna Caravans lead the pack, as usual.
Turbine Aircraft Services (Booth No. 3724) announced that The Aviators, the popular PBS program now in its third season, will feature a segment on the Mitsubishi MU-2 turboprop in episode 11. Spoiler alert: Program host and commercial pilot Sara Rependa declares the aircraft “sturdy” and comments on the high quality of its handling characteristics.
Pratt & Whitney Canada (Booth No. 3160) announced it has enrolled the 4,000th engine in its Eagle Service Plan (ESP) pay-per-hour maintenance program. The tiered program offers operators a choice of maintenance coverage. The basic plan includes parts and shop labor costs for scheduled engine overhaul/refurbishment and hot-section inspection, basic unscheduled engine and line replaceable unit/accessory maintenance and required product-support improvements at shop visits. Over the past two years the powerplant maker has added 1,000 new engines to the program.
Lord (Booth No. 5337) announced it has been selected to supply the vibration isolator mounts for the Honeywell TPE331-14GR turboprop on the Kestrel single-engine turboprop, which is expected to fly in 2014. Lord has provided adhesives and coatings, vibration and motion control and magnetically responsive technologies to industry since 1924.
Smyrna Air Center, a full-service FBO based at Smyrna/Rutherford County Airport near Nashville, Tenn., is showcasing its new GE H80 engine conversion option here at NBAA’12. While Smyrna (Booth No.