Hawker Beechcraft King Air B100, Aurora, Texas, Oct. 6, 2009–The commercial pilot and three passengers were seriously injured and the turboprop twin was substantially damaged when it crashed after both engines lost power during the Part 91 flight from Wiley Post Airport in Oklahoma City to Fort Worth Meacham International Airport.
Bombardier and ATR each announced orders for a pair of turboprops last month, the Canadian manufacturer from Papua New Guinea’s Air Niugini for NextGen Q400s and the Franco-Italian airframe maker from Libyan Airlines for ATR 42-500s. The Q400 order included an option on a single airplane of the same type. Air Niugini’s fleet now consists of three 26-seat Q200s and three 50-seat Q300s.
Franco-Italian regional aircraft maker ATR last month presented to the public the ATR 72-600 during a ceremony in Toulouse, France, where it also confirmed progress on its work with engine makers on a 90- to 100-seat turboprop. Despite the cancellation of orders for 22 aircraft this year, ATR maintains a three-year delivery backlog. The -600 series has drawn orders for fifty-four 72s and five 42s by seven customers.
Daher-Socata’s target of formally launching a new eight- to 10-seat or equivalent weight twin-engine business airplane sometime next year is still planned, but it depends on the company continuing to seek investment partners to fund the NTx New Twin program, unveiled at last year’s NBAA Convention.
ATR late in August announced that the ATR 72-600 regional turboprop made its first flight on July 24 in Toulouse, France, seven months after the first power-on test. The test program calls for 150 flight hours, and certification is pegged for next year. The maiden flight of the ATR 42-600 has slipped into 2010. It will mark the start of a 75-hour flight-test campaign for the smaller version.
For reasons that are not clear, every engine manufacturer scored fewer points in this year’s survey than in last year’s, something that did not happen with the airframers and avionics makers.
Comp Air is still planning to certify its single-engine turboprop CA-12, but has not yet formally applied to the FAA for a type certificate. “We’re waiting for everything to be in place before we apply,” said COO Bill Fedorko. The company is not yet taking deposits on the CA-12, he added.
GE Aviation will soon start certification testing of its new 800-shp H80 turboprop engine, derived from the Walter M601. Last summer, GE acquired certain assets of Prague, Czech Republic-based Walter Engines.
Business aircraft activity showed “tentative signs of recovery” in July, according to data from aviation services company Aviation Research Group/U.S. (ARG/US). After the global downturn began, “Business aircraft activity has been hit by a slump in demand, but in recent weeks the trend suggests activity could meet 2008 levels in the near term,” the firm said. July U.S.
GE Aviation will soon start certification testing of its new 800-shp H80 turboprop engine, which is derived from the Walter M601. Last summer, GE acquired certain assets of Prague, Czech Republic-based Walter Engines.