The field of aviation has changed tremendously over the last century. Today, many aircraft owners have decided to purchase the smaller ‘mini-jets’ that are on the market. But a huge number of aviation enthusiasts still appreciate what older style turbine or radial engines can offer to them. These two types of engines have evolved over the years as well, and today’s engines offer great reliability, power, performance, and fuel efficiency and can hold their own with pretty much any engine out there.
At Covington Aircraft, we specialize in the maintenance, installation, repair, and overhaul of turbine and radial engines. But we think it’s important that our customers understand the key differences between the two types. This way you can ensure that you know just how your engine works, what it offers, and whether or not it’s really the right one for you.
Radial engines like the R-985 and the R-1340 are very popular within the aviation world. The basic design features one or more rows of cylinders with a crankcase in the center. The cylinders are set up with an odd number in each row. The benefits of the design lie in its overall simplicity. It provides excellent performance, a long lifespan, and new designs are more economical than ever. Routine maintenance is a must with a radial engine, and while it will generally require a bit more maintenance than a turbine engine it will often cost less up front.
The turbine engine offers a more powerful design than radial. While it will cost a bit more in terms of initial cost, it requires less maintenance, delivers better overall performance, and operates very efficiently to provide better fuel economy. The lower maintenance needs and improve fuel efficiency will usually offset the initial cost.
In terms of design, it’s fairly simple as well. These engines use a turbine system to drive the propeller and create thrust. Pratt and Whitney is one of many companies offering a turbine engine, and their PT6A is generally considered to be the prime example in this category of engine.
Whatever engine you decide on, we here at Covington can help. Our experts can tell you whether or not your plane is compatible with a certain engine, help you understand more about the differences and which will work for you, and generally help you make the right call. We also provide installation, overhaul, and repair of both types of engines, so be sure to contact us when you’re ready for your turbine or radial.