Piper’s M600 is ideal for an owner-pilot transitioning out of a piston-engine-powered aircraft or for a corporate flight department needing short-hop or short-field supplemental lift.
In a little less than three years since the model’s introduction, Piper Aircraft has delivered 99 of these single-engine, six-seat turboprops. The $2.994 million airplane builds on Piper’s M-series fuselage, which dates back to the company’s piston-engine twin Navajo of the 1960s and its now-discontinued line of Cheyenne twin turboprops.
The M600 is one of three M series aircraft currently in production. (The others are the piston-powered M350, formerly known as the Malibu, and the M500 turboprop, formerly called the Meridian.) As the accountants would say, the fuselage is fully amortized, with development costs having been paid down back in the days when people smoked in airplanes.
No one is going to call the inside of this airplane voluminous: the cabin interiors for all M Class Pipers measure 12 feet, 4 inches long; 4 feet, 2 inches wide; and 3 feet, 11 inches tall. Take a peek behind the pilot and copilots to the club-four configuration of facing passenger seats. If Procrustes had had an airplane, this would be it. Yes, you could throw four people back there, but you’d probably be accused of inhumane treatment. (To be fair, the same knock applies to several other single-engine turboprops and light jets). Not even the fresh, jet-like interior styling can compensate for going hip-to-hip, knee-to-knee with your fellow man.
For many missions, though, that’s not an option: an M600 with a full bag of gas (270 gallons) has a sparse remaining available payload of just 422 pounds, barely enough for the pilot up front and one passenger and a small dog riding in the back. Still, on runs the length of Mackinac Island, Michigan to Chicago (269 nautical miles) you could conceivably go seats full in an M600.
Pratt and Whitney, a division of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX), announced it has launched Know My PT6 – a data-rich mobile app to help its customers around the world optimize the performance and availability of their PT6-powered aircraft.
Fifty years ago, de Havilland Canada (DHC) was the global leader in the design and production of STOL (short takeoff and landing) aircraft. Beginning with the DHC-2 Beaver in 1947 and following with the DHC-3 Otter, DHC-4 Caribou and DHC-5 Buffalo, the Toronto-based company had developed a family of ever-larger airplanes that could access isolated locations — with or without a runway.
Middle Eastern travelers looking to charter in Europe and the US may now find a different option in the light aircraft sector. Daher has launched a new and improved version of its very fast turboprop aircraft, the TBM 940, offering a smart and stylish cabin and greater automation in the cockpit.
It’s a missionary and a mercenary. A soldier and a spy. A record-setter and an also-ran. After 60 years of continuous production, the Pilatus PC–6 Porter, a legendary Swiss turboprop that has played more supporting roles than Kevin Bacon, will cease production in 2019.
The two-seat light trainer aircraft Pilatus PC-7 turbo was built by Pilatus Aircraft in Switzerland. It can perform various functions, including aerobatics and tactical and night flying.
The PC-7 can accommodate a crew of two members (a student and trainer) and has six underwing hardpoints.
Selected by 20 air forces to train military pilots, the aircraft is fully operational in civil and military pilot training bases worldwide, and is equipped with a single Pratt and Whitney PT6A-25A turboprop engine.
The first series of the aircraft was delivered to the Myanmar Air Force in 1979. It also received Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) certifications for European and US regulations.
PC-7 orders and deliveries
More than 500 PC-7 and PC-7 MkII aircraft have been sold to 21 countries. Mexico purchased 88 PC-7s, deliveries of which began in 1980, while approximately 52 PC-7s were bought by Iraq, with deliveries beginning in 1980. However, the Iraqi fleet was destroyed during the US invasion in 2003. Malaysia acquired 44, deliveries of which began in 1983.
The PC-7 was derived from the Pilatus P-3 training aircraft, which was launched in the early 1950s.
A P-3 prototype first flew on 12 April 1966, but the PC-7 development programme was delayed when the prototype crashed due to forced landing.
In 1973, the programme resumed using a modified engine and the new aircraft was named PC-7. The prototype completed its maiden flight on 12 May 1975, followed by a fully produced PC-7 on 19 August 1978.
Variants of PC-7 aircraft
The PC-7 has two variants: PC-7 MkII and NCPC-7. The PC-7 MkII variant is also known as the Astra, and was developed because of South Africa’s requirement for an advanced version of the PC-7.
MkII was derived from the PC-9 M aircraft and the M denotes the aircraft’s modular features. The PC-9 M aircraft is powered by a Pratt and Whitney PT6A-62 turboprop engine, which provides 863kW of output power.
This is equipped with advanced avionics and an onboard oxygen generation system (OBOGS). The PC-7 MkII aircraft consists of two underwing hardpoints, compared to the PC-7’s six.
The first PC-7 MkII had its maiden flight in August 1994 and the first delivery of was made to the South African Air Force (SAAF) in November 1994. In total, 60 were delivered to the SAAF by 1996.
The SAAF’s 35 Pilatus Astra PC-7MkII aircraft were upgraded with advanced glass cockpit components by removing the disused avionics systems, under a contract signed with Pilatus Aircraft in 2009. This also included incorporating two new flight training devices, ground based training systems and spares.
PC-7 MkII maiden flight and orders
Upgrades of the first aircraft were carried out at the Pilatus facility in Switzerland during 2009. The maiden flight of the first upgraded PC-7 MkII aircraft took place on 23 September of the same year.
Aerosud, with assistance from Pilatus field service engineers, undertook the modernisation of the remaining MkII fleet at Langebaanweg Air Force Base in South Africa.
In December 2010, Malaysia unveiled plans to procure 12 additional PC-7 MkII trainers in two batches by selling its older aircraft to the Philippines. It is currently operating 17 of 19 aircraft, as two were destroyed in accidents.
Pilatus Aircraft was awarded a BWP40m contract by the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) in April 2011 to supply five PC-7 MkII trainers to replace its PC-7 fleet, which has been in service since 1990. The contract also covers a ground base training system, spare parts and support equipment..
The NCPC-7 was developed by upgrading the standard PC-7. New features include a glass cockpit, GPS, autopilot and a second VHF radio. It was developed for the Swiss Air Force for training pilots.
In total, 18 PC-7 aircraft were upgraded to NCPC-7 and a contract for upgrading ten more was signed in February 2008.
Cockpit and avionics
The PC-7 MkII features a dual glass cockpit and is equipped with primary flight display (PFD), secondary flight display (SFD) and secondary instruments display panel (ESDP), as well as an audio radio management system (ARMS).
In addition, it includes very-high frequency communication (VHF COM) 1, VHF COM 2, ultra-high frequency communication UHF COM, VHF NAV 1, VHF NAV 2, distance measuring equipment (DME) and automatic direction finders (ADF).
A mode S transponder, GPS, radar altimeter, attitude heading reference system (AHRS), emergency locator beacon (ELT) and air data computer avionics are also installed in the cockpit.
Performance and cruise speed
The PC-7 can climb at a rate of 865m per minute. It has a cruise speed of 415km/h and can fly at 460km/h. The range and service ceiling are 1,950km and 9,150m, respectively.
Take-off and landing distances are 590m and 625m, respectively, while the maximum g-load capacity is -3 / +6 and maximum take-off weight is 2,700kg.
The Pilatus PC-7 is powered by a single Pratt & Whitney PT6A-25A turboprop engine and a three-blade Hartzell HC-B3TN-2 propeller. It can generate 485kW of output power.
The PT6A-25A is a two-shaft engine with a multi-stage compressor driven by a single-stage compressor turbine. It has another independent shaft coupling the power turbine and propeller through an epicyclic concentric reduction gearbox.
A single 522.2kW Pratt and Whitney PT6A-25C turboprop engine powers the PC-7 MkII. This offers a lower engine operating cost than the PC-7 engine.
The main difference between the engines used in the PC-7 and the MkII variant is the output capacities.
Meanwhile, the NCPC-7 has a single Pratt & Whitney PT6A-25A turboprop engine, similar to that used in the standard PC-7 aircraft.
Post from https://www.airforce-technology.com/projects/pilatus_pc-7/
Our expert shares 5 oil maintenance best practices that will help give you a clear picture of your oil status and keep your engine performing optimally.
1. RESPECT THE MIN AND MAX LEVELS
If your engine oil is at a level below the minimum, the oil supply during operation may be insufficient. Conversely, a level that exceeds the maximum may impede proper operation of the air/oil separator or breather, leading to possible bearing seal distress and loss of oil through the engine breather tube.
An oil level that’s too high or too low could also result in oil pressure fluctuations, low-pressure indications and engine damage.
2. MONITOR OIL USAGE OVER AT LEAST 10 HOURS
To perform engine oil system servicing effectively, you should continuously monitor your oil consumption. Careful monitoring will give you advance warning of abnormal oil consumption allowing you to carry out preventive troubleshooting.
For more accurate results, we recommend recording oil consumption data over at least 10 hours of accumulated flight time and plotting the data for oil consumption trend analysis. This will give you a more realistic portrait of your engine’s functioning.
On a related note, be wary of oil level readings taken when the aircraft is parked on uneven ground, since they may not be accurate.
Aircraft attitude may affect engine oil level readings, especially in the case of helicopters, which land on all kinds of uneven surfaces. You shouldn’t use readings taken when the aircraft is resting at an angle.
ANDRÉ GALLANT, TRAINING SPECIALIST, FIELD SUPPORT OFFICE
3. ALWAYS PERFORM SERVICING AT THE DESIGNATED TIME
Always check and service your engine oil system at the same time, based on the instructions in the engine maintenance manual. Typically, the designated time is around 15 to 30 minutes after shutdown. This is fundamental to obtaining reliable and accurate oil consumption trend data. If you wait longer than the indicated time to check the oil level, it may affect the readings, since hot oil in a still-warm engine has more volume than cold oil.
Checking the level as recommended by the engine maintenance manual can also help you identify issues. For instance, if you checked the oil level shortly after shutdown, then come back the next morning and notice that it’s notably lower, internal static oil transfer may have occurred overnight.
In a situation like this, do not simply refill the oil tank. If you do, there may be too much oil in the system and it could overflow via the engine breather. Perform troubleshooting instead to resolve the matter. On a PT6A engine, the cause could be a leaky oil filter check valve.
4. USE THE SAME LEVEL EVERY TIME
Likewise, you should always service your oil system to the same level. If you fill the oil tank to the maximum one day and to the minimum the next, it could skew your data. No matter what the oil level indicator configuration is, we recommend always servicing your engine oil system to a level somewhere between the minimum and maximum.
If you keep your oil levels at the maximum all the time, it could increase your oil consumption rate, since some oil has a tendency to exit through the engine breather. This could even happen at one or two quarts below the maximum, so you should adjust accordingly and service the oil system to a level where consumption is acceptable.
ANDRÉ GALLANT, TRAINING SPECIALIST, FIELD SUPPORT OFFICE
5. USE THE RIGHT DEVICE AND OIL
When topping up your engine oil tank, be sure to use an appropriate filling device such as a funnel or fluid servicing cart with the appropriate attachment. Using the wrong device could lead to spills and leakages, as well as an inaccurate oil usage recording.
You should also exercise caution when inter-mixing different brands or types of oil and always follow the recommendations in the applicable engine maintenance manual and oil service bulletin. When permitted, switching to another kind of oil might require additional maintenance, such as oil analysis and filter inspection, paying attention to carbon deposits. As different oils may have different properties. And in some situations, such as engines that have accumulated a lot of hours, switching oil type may be prohibited.
The best thing you can do is to stick with the same brand and type of oil. If you have to change, always check the applicable engine maintenance manual and oil service bulletin first to see whether you can and what oil brands and types are acceptable.
ANDRÉ GALLANT, TRAINING SPECIALIST, FIELD SUPPORT OFFICE
Putting these handy tips into practice while also following the standard procedures in your maintenance manual will allow you to maintain a normal main oil pressure during engine oil system servicing.
With the help of P&WC’s new Oil Analysis Technology –which is 100 times more sensitive than other oil monitoring technologies on the market –your engine oil can also provide you with insights into the health of bearings, gears, carbon seals and other engine parts. By analyzing data taken from periodically collected oil samples, this technology monitors engine health on wing and supports predictive and preventive maintenance without intrusive inspections. To learn more, check out Oil Analysis Technology Makes Proactive Maintenance Easier.