Although they haven’t been manufactured for a decade and a half, Twin Commanders continue as workhorses for many small- to medium-size companies, thanks to Twin Commander Aircraft Corp. (TCAC).
Honeywell and Pratt & Whitney Canada have agreed to start doing component repairs on some models of each other’s engines. The details of the agreement are still to be formalized, but it is expected that it will cover Honeywell’s TPE331 turboprops and TFE731 turbofans, as well as its 36-100 and 36-150 auxiliary power units. It will also apply to P&WC’s PW100 and PT6 turboprops and its JT15D turbofan.
On Sunday under a humid central Florida sky, a Piaggio P.180 Avanti settled to the runway at Orlando Executive Airport, setting a speed record for Class C-1.E/2 aircraft (twin turboprops 6,614 lb to 13,228 lb).
Piedmont Hawthorne has entered into an agreement with Saab Aircraft Leasing (SAL) to market Saab 340 twin-turboprops for corporate shuttle use. The Winston-Salem, N.C.-based business aviation services group will seek corporate buyers and lessors for the Swedish-built regional airliners and will also refurbish the interiors and provide maintenance.
Pratt & Whitney Canada announced last year at NBAA 2000 that it had embarked on development of a new line of turboprop, turboshaft and turbofan engines, the PW600 series, spanning a power range from 1,000- to 3,000-lb thrust (500- to 2,000-shp), and a demonstration program for geared turbofan engine technology.
In a surprise announcement, Leland Snow, president of agplane manufacturer Air Tractor, said his company is developing a new passenger/utility turboprop airplane that will be put to work by the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI).
0Atlantic Coast Airlines ended 13 years of 19-seat aircraft operations when it retired the last of its Jetstream 32 turboprops on December 3. The Sterling, Va.-based airline began shedding the British-built turboprops from its fleet in mid-2000, when it flew 28 of the generally efficient but outdated airplanes to points throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.
Ibis Aerospace came to last month’s NBAA Convention with a restyled full-scale cabin mockup of its Ae270 turboprop single. The new interior provides fully adjustable leather seating in a club arrangement and includes two foldout tables, an ultrasuede headliner, a fabric-covered side ledge, adjustable lighting and environmental controls.
EADS Socata at EBACE outlined what its product launch might be next year–a twin-engine business aircraft that is bigger than its TBM 850 turboprop single. “The future product will have two more seats than the [six-seat] TBM,” said Socata CEO Jean-Michel Léonard. Socata expects to make a launch decision early next year. “Before that, four criteria have to be met,” he said.
Clintonville, Wis.-based Performance Conversions has received an STC for installing 751-shp Czech-built Walter M601E-11 turboprop engines and five-blade Avia propellers on the King Air C90-1, C90A, C90B, C90SE and E90. The conversion, approved last April on the basic C90, also decreases cabin noise, takeoff distance, routine maintenance costs and downtime for engine maintenance, according to the company.