Daher-Socata early next month at EBACE will formally announce plans to invest almost $330 million to develop a new eight- to 10-seat twin-engine aircraft to offer in the market segment above its TBM 850 turboprop single. The so-called NTx program was launched at the NBAA Convention in October, but Socata still has not decided whether the new airplane will be a turboprop or a turbofan.
Bend, Ore.-based Epic Aircraft launched a pair of turbine twins at the Sun ’n’ Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Fla., last month. The new $5 million Elegance turboprop twin and $2.2 million Genesis twinjet share the same basic fuselage as the eight-seat Dynasty turboprop single, although the 419-knot, 1,700-nm Elegance is stretched to accommodate 10 while the 395-knot, 1,260-nm Genesis can seat six.
Bend, Ore.-based Epic Aircraft today launched a pair of turbine twins at the Sun ’n’ Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Fla. Despite the current economic climate, company CEO Rick Schrameck told AIN that this is “just the time to invest” in developing more aircraft.
Avions de Transport Regional has scheduled the first flight of a prototype ATR 72-600 regional turboprop for early this summer, following completion of the first “power-on” test in December in Toulouse, France. The ATR 42/72 variant that will supersede the -500 features a new flight deck supplied by Thales.
Hawker Beechcraft King Air 200, Punta Chivato, Mexico, Nov. 3, 2008–The King Air was destroyed when it crashed soon after takeoff from Punta Chivato Airstrip, and the sole-occupant pilot was killed. The turboprop cleared a small hill, then appeared to lose airspeed and slow its climb before hitting the ground. A fire consumed most of the airplane. The investigation is under the jurisdiction of the Government of Mexico.
Rolls-Royce last month launched the RR500 turboshaft, a 475-shp derivative of the RR300 that powers the in-development Robinson R66. Certification is scheduled for late 2011, with deliveries pegged to begin in the first quarter of 2012.
One of Heli-Expo’09’s worst-kept secrets, the Rolls-Royce RR500 turboshaft engine, was unveiled Monday afternoon in a brief but hearing-impairment-inducing ceremony at the engine maker’s booth. The RR500 turboshaft, a 475-shp derivative of the RR300 that powers the in-development Robinson R66, is scheduled for certification in late 2011. A turboprop version of the RR500 was first announced last summer at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis.
Engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney Canada (Booth No. 624) remains committed to developing new engine products whatever the impact of the global downturn on a changing industry, according to president John Saabas. He told HAI Convention News that last year had been “a peak year” for the Canadian manufacturer.
For the first time in five years, worldwide deliveries of general aviation airplanes declined in 2008 (dragged down by slumping piston deliveries), but business jet and turboprop shipments increased by double digits and industry billings climbed to $24.8 billion, a 13.4-percent increase over 2007, according to an annual report released this morning by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA).
Bombardier Aerospace plans to raise production of its commercial aircraft by about 10 percent this year, the company announced yesterday. The increase comes as the company continues to enjoy relatively strong demand for its Q400 turboprop, while the backlog for its CRJ line of regional jets dwindles.