Introduction of the TBM 850 “very fast turboprop” single to meet the challenge of the VLJ has firmly lifted Socata’s fortunes out of the stagnation that the company endured in 2003 and 2004. The EADS subsidiary delivered 42 TBM 850s last year, a 35-percent improvement on the 31 TBM 700s delivered the previous year. The company also delivered one TBM 700C2, all of which contributed to a revenue increase of 21 percent.
Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6
Indian state-owned National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) continue working on a 12-passenger twin-turboprop pusher called the Saras, named after the graceful Indian crane. The first prototype, which made its flying debut at Aero India 2005, has logged 95 flight hours in 40 test flights. Teething problems discovered in the initial phase of flight-testing have been solved, NAL director Dr. A.R.
Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) has appointed Industria de Turbo Propulsores S.A. (ITP) of Spain as a designated overhaul facility for selected PW200 turboshafts.
Maria Della Posta, v-p of customer support at P&WC, said, “ITP will provide support for operators in Spain while offering all PW200 operators a greater choice of repair and overhaul services.”
Thunder Aviation signed an agreement to become Atlantic Turbines’ newest service network facility. It will support the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A and JT15D.
Raytheon Airline Aviation Services and Pratt & Whitney Canada have announced the availability of a 9,000-hour overhaul interval for the PT6A-67D engines installed on the Beechcraft 1900D. Most 1900s must undergo overhauls at between 6,000 and 8,000 hours.
Piper Aircraft has announced 20th-anniversary models of its Malibu Mirage piston single and Malibu Meridian turboprop-single. Besides a commemorative logo and paint scheme, the milestone also includes some special pricing packages. The original piston-powered Malibu first hit the market in 1984 as Piper’s first pressurized, cabin-class single.
As Pilatus was celebrating the worldwide fleet of more than 500 Pratt & Whitney PT6A-67B-powered PC-12s surpassing one million flight hours, the engine manufacturer was working with the fuel control unit (FCU) supplier to obtain approval for an improved pneumatic system. P&WC expects to have an upgrade plan in place before the end of this month.
FlightSafety International is scheduled to deliver the first simulator for the Piaggio Avanti to its West Palm Beach, Fla. facility next September. FlightSafety said this simulator will represent the new Avanti II, the planned successor to the basic model featuring more powerful PT6 engines, Collins Pro Line 21 avionics and an increased mtow.
The NTSB wants the FAA to require Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-60 starter-generators to be electrically isolated from the rest of the engine, a modification that is already in the works.
A leak in the fuel control unit pneumatic system caused the P&WC PT6 to fail in a Pilatus PC-12 on December 14, according to Pilatus (see AIN, January, page 46). The pilot was able to deadstick the turboprop single to a safe landing on a street in South Bend, Ind. Pilatus re-issued a service letter to remind PC-12 operators that there is a manual override procedure that enables full power to be restored if the fuel control unit fails.