A Flying Swiss Army Knife: The Many Faces Of The Pilatus PC–6 Porter

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.

Continue reading A Flying Swiss Army Knife: The Many Faces Of The Pilatus PC–6 Porter

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

A Look at the Pilatus PC-7 Turbo Trainer

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.

PC-7 development

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.


Payerne, Switzerland – August 31, 2014: Swiss Air Force PC-7 display team flying Pilatus PC-7 trainer aircraft. 

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.

Turboprop engine

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/

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

5 Quick Tips For Servicing Your Engine’s Oil System

This article originally appeared on the P&WC Airtime Blog.

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.

PT6A

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.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Cessna SkyCourier development progresses with prototype assembly underway

Textron Aviation Inc has announced new milestones in its Cessna SkyCourier twin utility turboprop development program, with assembly underway for the prototype aircraft and the additional five flight and ground test articles. Component testing also continues for the new propeller, nose landing gear, and fuel system.

“When we began designing and developing the Cessna SkyCourier, we engaged a number of mission-centric customers for technical input to best meet their unique needs in one platform,” said Chris Hearne, senior vice president, Engineering.

“We are building this aircraft with the flexibility and reliability needed for a variety of high-utilization operations including cargo, passenger or special missions and we are excited that the customers and the market are responding positively to its capabilities.”

Endurance and functional testing for the new McCauley 110-inch propeller consists of nearly 150 hours of operation and includes a variety of simulated flight profiles. The propeller is mated with the proven PWC PT6A-65B, 1100-shp engine, mounted on a test stand. Simultaneously, assembly of the fuel system test article and nose landing gear drop test article is underway, with testing to start later this month.

The Cessna SkyCourier is the latest clean-sheet design from Textron Aviation and will be offered in various configurations including cargo, passenger or a combination of both, all based on a common platform to meet the needs of a wide range of customers.

The cargo configuration is designed to accommodate three standard air cargo containers (LD3) with a payload of up to 6,000 pounds while the passenger version carries up to 19 passengers.

FedEx Express, the world’s largest express transportation company and longtime Textron Aviation customer, signed on as the launch customer in late 2017 for up to 100 aircraft, with an initial fleet order of 50 cargo aircraft and options for 50 more.


Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

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

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

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.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

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

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

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

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS