I recently had the chance to fly one of the King Air C90s re-engined with two Walter M601E-11s, which are 751-shp engines flat rated to 550 shp for this installation. The airplane we were flying was N800RP, a 1974 King Air C90, S/N LJ-628. Dan Sigl, owner of Seagull Aviation, which is working on a conversion package for King Air 90s and 100s, agreed to bring the aircraft to my home base, Solberg Airport in New Jersey.
Shipments and billings for business aviation jets and turboprops reached all-time highs in the second quarter, according to data released this afternoon by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), while the piston market took a dive.
Rolls-Royce unveiled a new turboprop engine for general aviation applications on Tuesday at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis. The RR500 turboprop engine is larger than the turboshaft RR300 launched last year and will deliver 350 to 450 shp. Based on the RR300 core, the RR500 features a higher mass flow compressor and correspondingly matching turbine, as well as an exhaust-down configuration, a gearbox and propeller controls.
Along with the commercial and networking benefits the Regional Airline Association Convention offers, the annual event gives showgoers a chance to discuss the state of the industry and its prospects for the future.
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.