Cessna Aircraft’s Grand Caravan EX received FAA type certification and has outperformed initial targets, the company announced today. Powered by a new Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-140 turboprop engine, the Grand Caravan EX boasts a 38-percent improvement in rate-of-climb over a stock Grand Caravan, a figure that exceeds the original 20-percent improvement projection. Deliveries to customers have already started.
Seattle-based performance modification specialist Raisbeck Engineering and Hartzell Propeller have unveiled a new swept-blade propeller for the Hawker Beechcraft King Air series. The newly certified propeller is the result of three years of development, according to the companies, which describe it as the first business aviation turbine propeller using practical swept-wing theory as an integral part of its design. The propellers have aluminum blades and hubs.
Gleaming on the Safran display (Stand 357) is a mock-up of the Snecma Silvercrest engine, which has been selected for the Cessna Citation Longitude super-midsize business jet. Displaying the model, which was first shown a few weeks ago at NBAA, underlines the fact that Silvercrest is now a program moving fast towards certification in 2015.
The Aero Engine Maintenance Training Center has graduated the 10,000th student to complete CFM56 line maintenance training since opening its doors in 1996. AEMTC is a cooperative venture between CFM, the Civil Aviation Administration of China, Civil Aviation Supplies Holding Co., Civil Aviation Flying University of China (CAFUC), GE Aviation and Snecma. AEMTC was the first training center of its kind in China and was originally opened to support operation of the CFM56 and GE CF6. The school is located within the CAFUC campus in Guanghan, Sichuan Province.
New turboprop sales continue their slow, steady climb out of the cellar. For the first six months of this year, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) reports sales of the segment are up 10.5 percent compared with the same period one year ago, with 243 delivered. Hawker Beechcraft King Airs, Pilatus PC-12s and Cessna Caravans lead the pack, as usual.
GE Aviation (Booth No. 3900) is planning on testing the first full Passport 20 engine, slated to power the Bombardier Global 7000 and 8000, in the second quarter of next year. The design of the 16,500-pound-thrust turbofan was frozen in April this year. A series of thorough safety trials is well under way.
Safran USA (Booth No. 2579) is flexing some considerable muscle here at the convention, showing a diverse role in the business aircraft market that stretches from nose to tail and wingtip to wingtip. Among the aviation products available from this global conglomerate are turbofan engines, nacelles, thrust reversers, landing gear, wheels and brakes, auxiliary power units, avionics, navigation systems, flight controls and wiring.
Covington Aircraft, a Pratt & Whitney Canada distributor and designated overhaul facility since 2009, recently expanded its approved capabilities to include maintenance, repair and overhaul on most PT6A engines. The company sells new P&WC PT6As and says it maintains an ample supply of rental engines to keep customers flying. Founded in 1972, Covington Aircraft still overhauls Pratt & Whitney R-985 and R-1340 radial piston engines at its Okmulgee, Okla. facility.
Pratt & Whitney Canada is here with the recently certified PT6A-140, the latest version of a turboprop engine that will celebrate next year the 50th anniversary of its first delivery. The -140 is will power Cessna’s new Grand Caravan EX turboprop single, with 867 shp at takeoff. That represents a 28-percent increase over the -114A used in the Grand Caravan. Transport Canada certified the -140 last July. The FAA’s equivalent approval is expected “in the next few months,” according to Denis Parisien, P&WC vice president for general aviation.
GE has so far found no further evidence of improper installation of low-pressure turbine stage-one nozzles in GEnx engines following its issuance last week of a service bulletin that called for a fleet-wide borescope inspection.