A preliminary report into a February 20 elevator disconnect incident on a Virgin Australia ATR 72 showed that maintenance technicians at Sydney Airport initially misdiagnosed the extent of the damage that occurred during that February arrival. The twin turboprop was later cleared to re-enter service and flew 13 more trips before severe damage to the tail was discovered in the area where the horizontal and vertical stabilizers were joined.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has certified the new Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127N turboprop to power the ATR 72-600. The PW127N offers 4.5 percent more takeoff power for better hot-and-high performance. Plans call for the PW127N to progressively roll into Avianca’s ATR fleet throughout this year and next. ATR expects to deliver the first Avianca ATR 72-600 equipped with the new engines “in the coming weeks,” allowing the airline to benefit from better takeoff performance at high-altitude airports such as its hub in Bogota, Colombia.
The plan announced last year by The Aviation Alliance to remanufacture Cessna 421Cs and Gulfstream IIIs is moving forward, according to company founder and managing director Geoff Miller, despite setbacks that have caused some delays. The California-based company is currently focusing on the Excalibur 421 turboprop conversion and hopes to have one completed in time for this year’s NBAA show in Orlando in October.
French turboprop manufacturer Daher-Socata has signed a new five-year agreement with Hartzell Propeller to supply the recently introduced TBM 900 with advanced swept-airfoil composite five-blade propellers and spinners. “The TBM 900 is distinguished by its comfort, speed and efficiency, and all three are improved by Hartzell’s five-blade prop, which is quieter, speedier and more efficient,” said Nicolas Chabbert, senior vice president of Daher-Socata’s airplane business unit.
Business aircraft flying trended positive last month in every operating category and all jet segments, according to TraqPak data released yesterday by aviation services company Argus. Overall, activity climbed by 1.9 percent year-over-year in May.
For the first time this year, Part 91 operators led the way, with flying up by 2.3 percent in this operating segment versus a year ago. Part 135 activity wasn’t far behind, rising 1.9 percent from May last year, while the fractionals eked out a 0.2-percent gain.
While ATR and Bombardier continue to vacillate over plans to introduce a new 90-seat turboprop, Pratt & Whitney Canada keeps moving forward with an engine it believes will deliver a 20-percent fuel burn improvement over existing engines in the 5,000- to 7,000-shp range by the turn of the decade. Dubbed the Next Generation Regional Turboprop (NGRT), the engine would feature an all-new compressor, a miniaturized version of Pratt & Whitney’s patented Talon combustor and likely an eight-blade propeller
Engine manufacturer GE Aviation on Monday gave an update on its class H series turboprops, which are powering four aircraft for their first flights this year.
Daher-Socata (Booth 6540) has already delivered 12 examples of the new TBM 900 turboprop single and is planning on handing over another 39 this year. Four production slots are still available in 2014 for the $3.711 million per aircraft, CEO Stéphane Mayer said at an EBACE press conference on Monday.
As of May 16, 11 aircraft had been delivered in North America and one in Europe. A handful are to enter into service in 2014 in other regions. North America maintains a dominant position in Daher-Socata’s order book, while the Asian market remains very slow.
Legendary aircraft designer Ed Swearingen died on Thursday at age 88, on the eve of the resumption of production of his persistent light jet–the SJ30–by current program owner SyberJet. It was 1986 when he unveiled the small, single-pilot jet powered by a new breed of turbofan engine by Williams International that would propel the airplane swiftly and far, with performance that outstripped most business jets of the era.
Pratt & Whitney Canada’s FAST (Flight Data Acquisition Storage and Transmission System) engine diagnostic, prognostic and health-management (DPHM) system recently received a Transport Canada Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for use on Bombardier Dash 8 Series 200 and 300 turboprops, P&WC announced Wednesday on the occasion of the annual Regional Airline Association Convention in St. Louis. Transport Canada STC No. SA12-70 now includes Bombardier Models Q200, Q300 and Q400.