ATR’s sales momentum didn’t pause for the turn of the calendar as the Franco-Italian turboprop maker landed two more contracts for a total of eight turboprops before the ink had dried on last year’s financial reports. Canarian Navigation and Aerial Services, a company operating from Spain’s Canary Islands, announced a $36 million contract for two new ATR 72-500s for delivery this year following an agreement for four made last September.
Bombardier acknowledged in late January that it has held “exploratory discussions” about collaboration in the turboprop market with Russian aircraft maker Aviacor, but it stopped short of confirming reports that it will transfer Q300 turboprop production to the underused factory, now owned by Oleg Deripaska’s Basic Element holding company.
Shipments of general aviation aircraft last year increased significantly over 2005, resulting in another record high in billings and an all-time high in business jet deliveries.
Life for Fairchild Metro and Merlin owners is looking up. Maintenance, repair and overhaul options for the airplanes have now expanded to include Springfield, Mo.-based Worldwide Aircraft Services, which M7 Aerospace bought last year. According to Jim McClean, president and general manager, the company has a solid history upon which it has built the new service.
While last year was a positive turning point for many of Brazil’s business aviation firms, some companies have been mostly unaffected by the rolling economic crises that have tormented the nation for the past five years. One such company is Uberlândia-based ABC Táxi Aéreo, which attributes its financial stability to the fact that many of its clients come from the booming agribusiness sector.
For its first major new product since being purchased last year by a team headed by Elling Halvorson, Soloy is developing a more powerful follow-on to its 420-shp Allison turboprop conversion for Cessna 206s.
Moscow-based Tekhnoavia, an aircraft design house, delivered two piston SM-2000s in December and one turboprop SM-2000T last month. The trio of aircraft went to a Russian customer.
Starting with the new Challenger 300 powerplant, Honeywell will designate all future turbine engines with letters to identify the type of propulsion, such as HTF for a Honeywell turbofan, HTP for a turboprop and HTS for a turboshaft. Previously, the powerplant in the Challenger 300 was designated the AS907 (where AS stood for AlliedSignal–the company that bought Honeywell in late 1999 and adopted the Honeywell name).
Bend, Ore.-based Air Investor Resources (AIR)–the parent company of Epic Aircraft, which is currently flight-testing its Epic LT turboprop single–is now teaming with Tbilisi Aerospace Manufacturing (TAM) of Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia, to produce a $1.9 million very light jet (VLJ), dubbed the Tam-Air Epic Jet. The six-seat jet, which shares about 80-percent commonality with its composite turboprop-single
Honeywell has delivered the first production TPE331-12JR-701S turboprop powerplant to Aero Twin in Anchorage, Alaska, for its “850 Caravan” re-engine modification program. The 850-shp engine, certified last September, will replace the original 675-shp P&WC PT6 on the big Cessna single. Aero Twin expects to receive an STC for the conversion this spring.