Air Tractor Releases 800th Aircraft in AT-802 Series

Olney, Texas aircraft manufacturer Air Tractor, Inc. passed a major production milestone with the recent delivery of the 800th aircraft in the AT-802 series. The 800-gallon capacity airplane, Air Tractor’s largest, took off from Air Tractor on a northeast heading toward its new home in Arkansas to work as a single engine air tanker.

Continue reading Air Tractor Releases 800th Aircraft in AT-802 Series

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Mike Patey’s DRACO – The Coolest STOL Aircraft Ever

What happens when you put the legendary Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A on one of the most versatile of all bush planes? Mike Patey’s Draco, that’s what. And, woah, is it a BEAST!

The race-winning STOL aircraft is the winner of the 2018 High Sierra STOL Drag competition.

Brainchild of self-taught engineer and successful entrepreneur Mike Patey, Draco is the ultimate backcountry airplane. With its bright red skin, tall legs and heavy cloud of dust around it, Draco commands attention everywhere it lands. If you don’t happen to see it, you hear it; it’s one of the few bush planes with a turbine engine and reverse thrust, and the whine of the turboprop comes unexpectedly to unsuspecting observers.

Mike Patey’s DRACO at the Great Alaskan Aviation Gathering.

Mike Patey put a PT6A-28 680 shaft horsepower and 102” four bladed prop on the front of the last Wilga ever built. With an empty weight of 2400 lbs and a typical flying weight of 3000 lbs, Mike can be off the ground in about 120 feet, pitch to 30 degrees and maintain 4,000 feet per minute… while accelerating 50+ mph by 1,000 feet! He designed a completely new airfoil that dropped the stall speed about 20 mph to about 37 mph.

What’s even crazier is he uses about 300 HP of reverse to bring it to a stop in 150 feet but says that number will decrease once he gets more than a week of flying it under his belt. Also, it has oxygen and can go to 28,000 feet at 200 knots TAS at 28 gph at half power for Vne constraints. (Source: @super_cubbin)

If you haven’t seen the Draco, we highly encourage you to check out this amazing video from Trent Palmer below.

Sourced from Hangar.Flights.

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A Look at the PT6A-15AG Powered Air Tractor AT-402B

With the AT-402B, Air Tractor’s goal was to combine turbine power with affordability. You get both and more. It’s quiet, powerful, and fun to fly, even at the end of a long day.

The Turbine Advantage

The AT-402B is Air Tractor’s entry-level turbine ag plane, ideal for first-time turbine owners. With its legendary PT6A-15AG turbine engine, the 402B offers the power and superb handling characteristics that make it a joy to fly and the productivity that makes profits. Quick turn times, superior visibility, faster ferry speeds, ultra-quiet engine, shorter loaded take-off distances, faster climb and cruise speeds, wider spray patterns, decreased fuel and maintenance costs — get it all with the 402B. It all adds up to a healthier bottom line for your business.

AT-402B Specifications

Engine Type:P&W PT6A-15AG
Engine SHP:680 @ 2200 RPM
Propeller:Hartzell HC-B3TN-3D/T10282N+4
Take-off Weight:9,170 lbs (4.159 kg)
Landing Weight:7,000 lbs (3.175 kg)
Empty Weight with Spray Equipment:4,299 lbs (1.950 kg)
Useful Load:5,150 lbs (2.336 kg)
Hopper Capacity:400 US gal (1.514 L)
Fuel Capacity:170 US gal (644 L)
Wing Span:51 ft (15,54 m)
Wing Area:306 sq ft (28,45 m²)
Main Wheel Size:29.00 x 11-10
Tail Wheel Size:5.00 x 5

AT-402B Performance

Cruise Speed at 8,000 ft (2.438 m):162 mph (141 kts)
Working Speed (Typical):120-140 mph (104-122 kts)
Range – Economy Cruise at 8,000 ft (2.438 m):660 mi (1.062 km)
Stall Speed – Flaps Up:77 mph (66 kts) at 7,000 lbs (3.175 kg)
Stall Speed – Flaps Down:66 mph (57 kts) at 7,000 lbs (3.175 kg)
Stall Speed as Usually Landed:53 mph (46 kts)
Rate of Climb:800 fpm at 8,600 lbs (3.901 kg)
Take-off Distance:975 ft at 8,600 lbs (3.901 kg)

AT-402B Dimensional Drawings

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Daher introduced turboprop business jet TBM 940

The French aircraft manufacturer Daher presented the next iteration of high-speed single-engine turboprop aircraft of the business class of the popular line TBM 900. 28 years after the start of production of the first generation of airplanes – the TBM 700, the aircraft family was replenished with a new member – the TBM 940.

Continue reading Daher introduced turboprop business jet TBM 940

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[VIDEO] Blackhawk: The World’s Fastest King Air

The Blackhawk-upgraded King Air 350 features Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-67A engines, producing 1,050 SHP up to 25,000 feet, while stock King Air 350 engines begin losing horsepower at 15,000 feet. Paired with two 5-blade natural composite MT Propellers with spinners, the complete upgrade transforms your Super King Air into a real Super Hero.

Via FlyingMag.com

“This truly is the Greatest King Air that I have yet had the pleasure to operate.”
Renowned flight instructor and author of “The King Air Book” Tom Clements after flying an XP67A-powered King Air 350.

Program updates:

  • G1000 NXi compatibility is approved and a number of installations are underway!
  • Going to the King Air Gathering in Fredericksburg, Tx September 27-29? We’ll be there along with an upgraded 350! More info can be found here: http://www.kingairgathering.com/
  • EAA Airventure at Oshkosh was a great success with the launch of the King Air 300 program and strong interest in the 350 we had on display which is now sold.
  • Want to hear directly from operators that are flying the XP67A? Contact me and I can provide you a full contact list for the aircraft that are flying it!
  • Wondering about resale value? 7 of our first 20 conversions have been done by aircraft brokers upgrading because it increased the value of the aircraft!
  • Pratt & Whitney was recently able to accelerate deliveries so we currently have engines available, contact us to ensure we have engines available to meet your schedule.

Via Blackhawk.aero.

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How Jim Savage Gets the 1939 Spartan Executive So Shiny

This blog is republished with the permission of Jim Savage. His website, VintageSpartanAircraft.com which features his 1939 Spartan Executive, is a must visit.

What do you do to make your Spartan so shiny?  That’s a question I am often asked and the answer may be easier than you expect. Obviously, it takes quite a bit of polishing, using quality polishing supplies and good polishing techniques. Most experienced metal polishers with bare metal airplanes already know that.  The missing piece has to do with how light behaves when it reaches the airplane. Specifically, it is either reflected or it is absorbed.  The more light that is reflected, the shinier the airplane appears to be.  The trick is to eliminate anything that absorbs the light. In the case of Spartan NC17634, it has minimal paint trim, so there is more surface available to reflect light. Of course, that holds true for many bare metal airplanes.  The other source of light absorption is the tiny black rings around each of the rivet heads.  Although often unnoticed unless you are specifically looking for them, almost every bare metal has these light absorbing rings, including ones that have been judged as Grand Champions.  They originate during the normal polishing process and over time and many polishings, they slowly accumulate.  With the passage of time, these rings become extraordinarily difficult to eliminate.  

While a tiny black ring around a single rivet doesn’t seem like much, consider what the cumulative amount is if you have 9000+ polished rivets, as is the case with NC17634. To the best of my knowledge, there is no magic potion that easily removes the black residue.  It is simply a matter of finding a process that works best for you and then proceeding, one rivet at a time.  While the removal of all traces of black from every rivet of an entire airplane is a daunting task, the results are clearly noticeable.   

Here are some close-up pictures rivets on a 1939 Spartan Executive.  The first nine pictures show examples of what domed rivets with black rings look like on a highly polished airplane.

The next nine pictures show similar views of the same Spartan, after removal of the black rings.

For those of you who are really, really curious about how long it took to remove all traces of black from the 9000 rivets on the Spartan, it is probably far more than you can imagine and likely far more than you will believe. It took approximately 800 hours of effort but as the following picture shows, the final results can be stunning.

More Pictures of the Spartan 1939 Executive

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A Look at Pilatus Aircraft & A List of Aircraft the Company has Produced

The Company was established in the early 1940s, the first design project was a single-seat trainer, designated P-1 but it was abandoned before being built. The next project was the SB-2 Pelican which was designed by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology but it never was built in series. 
With production of the P-3 for the Swiss Air Force in progress, the company achieved its first export order for six P-3s for the Brazilian Navy.

The SB-2 Pelican
Pilatus P-3 used by the Swiss Force as a trainer for their pilots

In 1958 design work started on a STOL light civil transport aircraft, this emerged as the PC-6 Porter which first flew on 4 May 1959. In 1965 a twin-engined variant of the PC-6 was built as the PC-8 Twin Porter, although it first flew on 15 November 1967 it remained an experimental and one-off type and development was stopped in 1972. 

Another project for the PC-10 16-passenger twin-engined transport was started but was not built.

Pilatus PC-6

The Pilatus PC-6 Porter is a single-engined STOL utility aircraft designed by Pilatus Aircraft of Switzerland. First flown in 1959, the PC-6 continues in production at Pilatus Flugzeugwerke in Stans, Switzerland. It has been built in both piston engine- and turboprop-powered versions and was produced under licence for a time by Fairchild Hiller in the United States. After around 600 deliveries in six decades, Pilatus will produce the last one in early 2019.

In 1966 a turboprop-powered variant of the P-3 was flown, designated the PC-7. 

The aircraft crashed and development was put on hold until the 1970s. In 1975 a further prototype was flown and after further development ,it was marketed as the PC-7 Turbo Trainer.

In 1982 development of an improved variant of the PC-7 was started, it emerged as the Pilatus PC-9 in 1984. Development of what was to become the companies best selling type the Pilatus PC-12 was started in 1987, a single-engined turboprop transport that could carry up to twelve passengers or freight. The prototype PC-12 was flown on 31 May 1991.

To further the family of military training aircraft the turboprop PC-21 was developed and first flown in 2002.

In December 2000, the owners Unaxis (previously called Oerlikon-Bührle) sold Pilatus to a consortium of Swiss investors. In July 2010 the company delivered its 1000 PC-12.

Even in the last years of crisis, Pilatus still confirmed the leadership on this nice market with the help of loyalty versus this Swiss company that delivered excellent products all over the world with many orders of their products like PC-7 MkII, PC-12 NG and PC-21. 

Pilatus announced last years the development of their first Jet-engine aircraft that should be fly for the first time in 2013 or beginning of 2013, at the moment the official name should be PC-24.

First PC-21 prototype

here below a list of all the aircraft produced by Pilatus Aircraft:

  • Pilatus SB-2 Pelican
  • Pilatus P-1 – 1941 project for a single-seat trainer, not built.
  • Pilatus P-2 – 1942
  • Pilatus P-3 – 1953
  • Pilatus P-4 – 1948
  • Pilatus P-5 – proposed artillery observation aircraft, not built.
  • Pilatus PC-6 Porter – 1959
  • Pilatus PC-7 – 1966
  • Pilatus PC-8D Twin Porter – 1967 twin-engined variant of the PC-6, prototype only
  • Pilatus PC-9 – 1984
  • Pilatus PC-10 – 1970 twin-engined transport project, not built.
  • Pilatus PC-11/Pilatus B-4 – 1972
  • Pilatus PC-12 – 1991
  • Pilatus PC-21 – 2001
  • Pilatus PC-24 – Proposed twin-engined jet

For those interested here below a review of a PC-12 NG.

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