Snecma plans soon to start another phase of open-rotor engine testing using a one-fifth scale model, in a research and technology effort that epitomizes how laborious developing a new commercial engine concept can be. The concept, based on contra-rotating high-speed propellers, may not find itself in service before 2025. Nevertheless, trials aimed at cutting noise while retaining the huge efficiency advantage of the open rotor’s architecture are well under way.
GE Aviation started testing its new fourth-generation composite fan blades for the new GE9X turbofan, the company announced last week. Chosen to power the new Boeing 777X, the 100,000-pound-thrust-class engine promises a 10-percent fuel burn improvement over the GE90-115B–the engine that powers the Boeing 777-300ER.
Engine maker Pratt & Whitney Canada (Stand 2009) is here at LABACE to highlight its engine support capabilities, which are primarily handled through the local service center at Sorocaba in the São Paulo region. Established in 1999, the Sorocaba facility is part of the global PWC support network, reporting to the West Virginia overhaul and service center, but is particularly involved in supporting the more than 2,000 PWC engines that are operational in Brazil.
Brazilian operator TAM Executiva has awarded a contract to Vector Aerospace and its Seca subsidiary to provide maintenance, repair and overhaul covering engines in its fleet. The agreement includes repair, hot-section inspections, testing, modification, overhaul and parts distribution on PT6A and JT15D series turbine engines, and engine repair, major periodic inspection, testing, modification and core zone inspection on the TFE731 series.
Yesterday afternoon fractional operator PlaneSense took delivery of the milestone 1,200th PC-12 at its Portsmouth, N.H. headquarters, during a ceremony hosted by PlaneSense founder and CEO George Antoniadis. Pilatus Business Aircraft president and CEO Thomas Bosshard was among the guests.
Fifty years after delivering its very first engine to Beechcraft, Pratt & Whitney Canada celebrated another milestone yesterday by delivering to Beechcraft at EAA AirVenture the 80,000th PT6 turboprop, in this case a -60A variant that powers the King Air 350i. “As we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of this iconic engine,” said P&WC president John Saabas, “we are proud to share this important moment with Beechcraft, which was the first customer to select the PT6.” The PT6 has since become the most popular engine in all aviation market segments.
Safran’s SMA unit announced a new and larger jet-A fuel-powered piston engine at AirVenture on Tuesday. The turbocharged SR460 six-cylinder engine will have applications in the 330 to 400 horsepower range, will be available in 2015 and will have a target 2,400-hour time between overhaul (TBO) interval.
Ontario, Canada-based Flying Colours has been appointed a Raisbeck Engineering authorized sales and installation center for the company’s King Air product line. Under the terms of the agreement, Flying Colours is able to offer King Air maintenance, refurbishments, modifications and paint work in addition to full completions.
Flying Colours has a long affiliation with Beechcraft dating back to the 1980s. Its team includes 18 licensed technicians who have been working on Beech products since the company’s founding more than 25 years ago.
The new short takeoff and landing Antonov An-70 military transporter will soon complete joint state testing, according to Dmytro Kiva, Antonov president and general designer and academician of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. The An-70’s noise certification has been issued, he added.