Even as Italian manufacturer Piaggio Aero Industries reaps the benefits of a remarkable sales resurgence in the U.S., the company increasingly views its own backyard as fertile soil for future growth.
Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6
The anticipated production glut of very light jet competition hasn’t yet hurt Socata, which recently announced delivery of its 61st single-engine TBM 850 while noting that the business turboprop has surpassed 100 orders in less than 18 months on the market.
Of all the sub-segments of the general aviation market, the turboprop field is the only one not experiencing a marked increase of new development. At airshow after airshow, very light jets, personal single-engine jets, more powerful piston singles and light sport airplanes have garnered the greatest amount of attention.
Blackhawk Modifications of Waco, Texas, is in Atlanta this week to announce its latest engine power upgrade for the Beech King Air 200, the Dash 61 STC program featuring factory-new 850-shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-61 turboshafts with a higher thermodynamic horsepower rating in place of the original PT6A-42 powerplants.
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.
Honeywell announced recently that it had won approval for its TPE331-12JR turboprop to be installed on the Cessna Caravan. The certification was completed in connection with Aero Twin in Anchorage, Alaska, which plans to offer complete retrofit kits, installation and service.
If your King Air 200 is coming up on its second or–worse–third PT6A-41 engine overhaul, you might find the numbers daunting. Fortunately, Blackhawk Modifications of Waco, Texas, offers an alternative in the form of an STC that is far more operator friendly.
Pratt & Whitney Canada said last month its PW600 engine has been selected to power the new Epic Victory single-engine VLJ. Up to that point, Epic had used the Williams FJ33-4A for the Victory. P&WC’s PT6A-67 had previously been selected to power Epic’s Dynasty turboprop.
Cessna 208B Caravan, Quepos, Costa Rica, March 22, 2007 – Costa Rican-registered Cessna Caravan TI-BBG landed at the Aeropuerto La Managua, near Quepos, Costa Rica, and when the crew shut down the engine there was an engine fire. The flight, from Cocos to Quepos, was a Sansa domestic passenger commuter flight. The two pilots and seven passengers were not injured.
Six years after opening its doors, two-and-a-half months after flying its first fully conforming aircraft and less than a month after losing company chairman Bruce Kennedy in the crash of a Cessna 182, Quest Aircraft has been awarded the type certificate for its turboprop utility single. The FAA awarded full day/night, VFR/IFR certification for the $1.3 million Kodiak after 32 months of development.