If you’re looking for evidence the single-engine turboprop is an aircraft whose time has come, Comp Air Aviation (Booth No. 8842) believes its Comp Air 12 is exhibit A. Powered by a 1,650-hp Honeywell TPE331-14GR engine, the Comp Air 12 is voluminous composite eight-place aircraft with a projected cruise speed of 310 knots at 30,000 feet and a maximum range of 2,535 nm with IFR reserves.
While it is the cold, hard numbers that decide our readers’ verdict on how well companies support the products they sell, it is the readers’ written comments that flesh out the picture and help those companies identify where, in their customers’ opinions, they could improve.
In a study titled “The Market for General Aviation/Utility Aircraft 2007-2016,” Forecast International said it anticipates a decline in corporate demand for twin turboprops in favor of the fractional ownership of turbofan-powered aircraft. Further, it expects this trend to accelerate as more sub-$4 million very light jets are delivered.
Pilatus Aircraft (Booth No. 757) unveiled its Next Generation PC-12 here at NBAA’07 yesterday. “We’ve taken a great airframe and changed almost everything from front to back,” said Thomas Hunziker, president and CEO of Pilatus Business Aircraft, introducing the aircraft.
Shadin Avionics (Booth No. 8350) is introducing a new version of its engine trend monitoring system, the ETM XL, with USB-drive downloading, more memory and recording frequencies that meet Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 TBO-extension requirements. A major change for the ETM XL is that it has FAA supplemental type certification approval for the engine type instead of the airframe.
In a study released today entitled “The Market for General Aviation/Utility Aircraft 2007-2016,” Forecast International said it anticipates a decline in corporate demand for twin turboprops in favor of the fractional ownership of turbofan-powered aircraft. Further, it expects this trend to accelerate as more sub-$4 million very light jets are delivered.
The Asian Aerospace show in Hong Kong earlier this month was supposed to be a civil-only event. But the main China Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC) stand was dominated by a large model of the L15 advanced combat jet trainer. AVIC also released a DVD, which while showing the ARJ21 and MA60 regional passenger transports, was dominated by footage of China’s front-line combat jets.
Ukraine’s Antonov has signed a memorandum of understanding with Xi’an Aircraft Company (XAC) to help develop a new 70-seat turboprop dubbed the MA700, according to Chinese state-run media. The parties plan to discuss details on the cooperation during the upcoming Beijing International Aviation Exhibition, scheduled for September 19 to 22.
Of all the subsegments of the general aviation market, the turboprop field is the only one not experiencing an increase in new development. At airshow after airshow, very light jets, personal single-engine jets, more powerful piston singles and light sport airplanes have seen the greatest amount of activity. Although turboprops are one of the most efficient ways to fly, they are not the shining stars of most product development departments.
Deliveries of both jets and turboprops were up again in the first half of this year, according to second-quarter numbers released by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA).