Almost a year after first unveiling the deal, GE Aviation last month announced the completion of its acquisition of Prague, Czech Republic-based turboprop engine maker Walter Engines. The new GE division will operate as Walter Aircraft Engines.
The first half of the year saw the number of business jet accidents remain the same as during the first half of last year, while the turboprop segment saw a sharp increase, according to statistics released by Boca Raton, Fla.-based industry safety tracker Robert E. Breiling Associates.
Parts supplier Turbine Engine Consultants (TECI) has announced the availability of a consignment program called Excess Inventory Management. TECI says EIM gives customers an easy, reliable and profitable solution for excess and surplus inventory. TECI owns a 75,000-sq-ft secure and climate-controlled warehouse for EIM inventory that has multiple loading docks and a variety of shipping methods.
China’s Xi’an Aircraft (XAC) staged a rollout ceremony on June 29 for an improved version of its 50- to 60-seat MA60 turboprop called the MA600. Scheduled to fly next month, the MA600 weighs some 650 pounds less than its predecessor and incorporates upgraded avionics and cabin enhancements, according to Chinese state-run media.
Horizon Air will ground all 12 of its remaining Bombardier Q200 turboprops by October 28 and begin retiring its CRJ700 regional jets next month under a plan to accelerate its transition to a uniform fleet of Q400 turboprops. Horizon now expects to remove all its 70-seat CRJ700s and add 14 more 76-seat Q400s by the end of next year in an effort to ease the sting of soaring fuel prices.
It will probably not have escaped the attention of American readers of this column over the past six months that much of the history of aviation during the first half of the 20th century was written by the French, British and Germans. America took the first step when Orville and Wilbur Wright flew their Flyer on Dec.
The significance of General Electric’s purchase of Walter Aircraft Engines last year has only recently become evident. The American company appears poised to seriously challenge the primacy of Pratt & Whitney Canada as the principal source of turboprop engines for executive aircraft, light transport twins and more.
Avions de Transport Régional (ATR) CEO Stéphane Mayer said the company remains on track to deliver more than 60 new airplanes this year after nearly doubling capacity of the final assembly line at its factory in Toulouse, France.
Powering the A400M was always going to be a challenge, requiring the development of the Western world’s biggest turboprop, the 11,000-shp TP400-D6, and integrating a host of highly complex systems and associated software. “The complexity of the integration task on the TP400 has been bigger than it was for the Airbus A380,” said Nick Durham, president of Europrop International (EPI).
French-Italian regional turboprop manufacturer Avions de Transport Régional (ATR) is considering a new aircraft to complement its 46/50 passenger ATR 42 and 68/74-seat ATR 72 regional turboprop aircraft. CEO Stéphane Mayer confirmed that the airframer is studying a larger turboprop, probably to seat between 90 and 100 seats, and options including a two- or three-member family. “A stretch [of today’s ATR 72] is not a solution,” he said.