Osceola Mills, Pa.-based Innodyn will be showing off its latest turboprop engine–the TwinPack–later this month at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis. Over the past several years the company has been quietly working on fuel-efficient, low-cost 200- to 300-shp turboprop aircraft powerplants with 5,000-hour TBOs. Building on this work, Innodyn has developed the 500-shp TwinPack, which combines two of its 250-shp turbines through a common gearbox.
Like the mythical phoenix, the AASI Jetcruzer 450/500 may arise from its ashes to fly again, this time as a single-turbofan, experimental airplane rather than a certified single-turboprop pusher. It was in April 2002 that Advanced Aerodynamics & Structures Inc. (AASI), after completing its acquisition of the bankrupt Mooney Aircraft Co., changed its name, as expected, to Mooney Aerospace Group (MASG).
Last year saw reasonably brisk activity in the regional turboprop business, as the Western world’s remaining players scrambled to hold their positions during a period of continuing sluggishness in the air-transport sector.
The accident picture in the first quarter of this year compared with the same period last year showed mixed results, according to statistics compiled by Robert E. Breiling Associates of Boca Raton, Fla. There were two fatal accidents involving jet operations in the first three months of last year, compared with no fatal accidents in the January-through-March timeframe this year.
The first prototype G160 Ranger, Grob-Werke’s second turboprop single, flew for the first time on March 29 from the company’s facility in Tussenhausen-Mattsies, Germany, about 60 miles from Munich.The seven-seat, Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-42A-powered G160 is an expansion of the four-seat G140TP, which first flew in December 2002 and is expected to obtain certification late this year.
Grob, the aerospace division of Germany’s Grob-Werke (which builds milled parts for the automobile industry), has extended its estimated certification date of the G140TP turboprop single to the first quarter of next year from late fall this year, according to Andreas Strohmayer, Grob CEO. He told AIN that static testing of the fuselage was expected to begin last month and testing of the wing would follow afterward.
Certification by the Czech civil aviation authorities of the Ae270 turboprop single has slipped once again, from the second quarter of this year to late August, with FAA certification now anticipated for late September or October (from June), according to Jeff Conrad, v-p of marketing. Expected to join ship number five in the flight-test program soon is aircraft number seven.
New designs for small business turboprop singles could be included in proposed changes to FAR Part 36 noise-certification rules. The more stringent levels are aimed primarily at reducing noise from newly designed primary training aircraft, but new turboprop singles certified under Part 23 would also be covered. The FAA said the more stringent requirements are intended to keep limits within the capability of current technology.
Helicopter owners who use after-market parts made by Extex (Booth No. 3109) under the FAA’s PMA (parts manufacturer approval) rules can now benefit from the company’s new customer assurance program (CAP).
Stevens Aviation announced the expansion of its network of five service center locations by re-opening its Greenville, S.C. facility as a Stevens Turboprop Center
after a multimillion-dollar refurbishment. The move adds 30,000 sq ft of hangar space to support the operation.