Category Archives: Aviation

North Star Air Basler BT-67 – An Investment in the North, Fast Facts, a & Brief History

THUNDER BAY – AVIATION – Northern communities increasingly depend on a solid supply chain to get their food, fuel and medical supplies. Climate change and increasingly extreme changes in winter weather are creating problems for the winter road networks.

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The History & Story of the R-985 Powered Boeing PT-17 Stearman

Climbing over the narrow, wing-root walkway and stepping on to the cushioned seat of the tandem, two-place, blue and yellow fabric-covered open-cockpit Boeing PT-17 Stearman registered N55171 in Stow, Massachusetts, I lowered myself into position with the aid of the two upper wing trailing edge hand grips and fastened the olive-green waist and shoulder harnesses.  Donning era-prerequisite goggles and helmet, I surveyed the fully duplicated instrumentation before me and prepared myself both for an aerial sightseeing fight of Massachusetts and a brief, although temporary, return to World War II primary flight training skies.

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Tinker Celebrates 75 Years: Vultee BT-13 aircraft profile

The Vultee Aircraft Corp. BT-13 “Valiant” was a single-engine, tandem-seat trainer produced for the U.S. Army Air Corps, U.S. Navy and foreign allies prior to and during World War II. The aircraft was selected and produced as a primary and follow-on intermediary trainer due to its ruggedness, forgiving flight characteristics and stability. Most of the pilots produced in the early years of World War II conducted initial training, or Basic Training, hence the BT name, on the BT-13.

Continue reading Tinker Celebrates 75 Years: Vultee BT-13 aircraft profile

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Turbine Conversions selects PT6A-21 engines for Cessna 206 conversion

Turbine Conversions, Ltd. and Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) have signed a long-term contract for the sale of PT6A-21 engines to power the recently announced Cessna 206 turbine conversion. P&WC is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp.

Turbine Conversions has been converting aircraft using P&WC engines since 1990, but company president Bill Hatfield first encountered the PT6 engine when he installed a PT6A-34AG engine in his Grumman Ag Cat in 1975.

“I still fly my Grumman Ag Cat, and that PT6A-34AG engine continues to serve me well after more than 40 years,” said Hatfield, one of the most respected and well-known pioneers of the agricultural industry. “The relationships I have built with P&WC employees over the years have likewise endured and helped empower our business and those of our own clients. We are delighted to have struck yet another arrangement with P&WC to power our Cessna 206 conversion.”

“Turbine Conversions has consistently demonstrated its understanding of the factors that drive successful conversion programs,” said Denis Parisien, vice-president, General Aviation, P&WC. “With the 206 turbine conversion program, our PT6A-21 engines will replace piston engines so operators of the converted aircraft will benefit from a considerable increase in power, better hot and high performance and a TBO [time between overhaul] of 3,600 hours. Combined with that is our OEM [original equipment manufacturer] warranty and a global customer support network that is second to none.”

cessna 206

The PT6A engine boasts powerful performance and unmatched versatility. PT6 technology has powered 125 different applications since its introduction. More than 46,000 PT6 engines have been manufactured, with 23,000 now in service. The engine has logged more than 375 million flight hours.

“Anyone can say they’re the best; we have the numbers to prove it,” said Parisien. “It’s more than an engine. The PT6A engine offers the best of both worlds: Its proven technology is built upon a remarkable body of engineering achievement that has written new chapters in aviation history in collaboration with our customers, and it’s also this technology that continues to make new aircraft applications possible. We’re already moving on to the next innovation.”

The PT6A engine’s flexible architecture and modular reverse-flow design simplify installation in both single- and twin-engine installations as well as tractor and pusher propeller configurations. Simple on-wing maintenance is possible for most tasks, whereas other engines might need a shop visit.

H/T Skies Magazine.

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Beechcraft Beefs Up King Air 350 Performance

Beechcraft today announced the introduction of the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-67A engines to boost performance for its King Air 350HW and 350ER twin turboprops. The Textron subsidiary also is now offering an increased maximum takeoff weight of 17,500 pounds for the two models.

Both modifications are now approved by the U.S. FAA and EASA and are available as factory options for new aircraft, or as retrofits. The work can be done by any of Textron’s 19 company-owned authorized service centers.

KingAir350

The King Air 350 platform is renowned as a worldwide mission enabler and these optional enhancements will offer customers added performance and payload for special mission operations,” said Bob Gibbs, Beechcraft’s vice president of special mission aircraft. “We have successfully modified a fleet of NATO air force-operated King Air 350ER aircraft with these upgrades, and we are excited to offer these options to provide more value to our special mission customers.”

The more powerful PT6A-67A engines provide superior takeoff and climb performance, including hot and high operations. With an outside air temperature of 50-deg C (122-deg F), the engine upgrade allows for a maximum takeoff gross weight increase of up to 2,700 pounds at sea level, compared to the standard aircraft. The increased gross weight option provides operators greater flexibility between payload and fuel, representing a potential increase in loiter time of two to three hours.

The 350HW is the heavyweight version of the King Air 350, providing increased load-carrying capability thanks to its larger and stronger main landing gear struts, wheels, tires and brakes. The 350ER is the extended-range version with more fuel capacity through the addition of low drag metal fuel tanks aft of the powerplant. With NBAAIFR fuel reserves, its max ferry range is 2,690 nautical miles (4,982 kilometers), and it can also offer an endurance time of 12 hours for surveillance missions.

Beechcraft (Stand A21) also is promoting its Grand Caravan turboprop single for special missions work, billing it as a sound value proposition for a variety of operators thanks to its low operating and acquisition costs. “In the Middle East at large we [Textron] have nearly 150 [Citation] business jets and 160 turboprops, and about half of the turboprops are being used for special missions work, including surveillance,” Gibbs told AIN.

The Caravan can carry between 10 and 12 passengers or a mix of equipment for multi-role operations including medical evacuation. It offers range of up to around 1,000 nm (1,852 km).

The aircraft is very maintainable; with no pressurization or hydraulics, it is a very simple aircraft and has a low fuel burn of around 65 gallons per hour at cruise. That’s about one-fifth of [the fuel burn] of a light helicopter,” Gibbs explained. “The basic aircraft, which has an endurance of around six to seven hours on station, costs under $3 million, or between $4 million and $6 million equipped.

Both the Caravan and the King Air 350 can operate from rough strips. The examples on display here at the MEBAA show are the Grand Caravan EX model and the King Air 350i.

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questkodiak_featured

Quest secures record order for Kodiak Powered by PT6A

Quest Aircraft has secured an order from Japanese start-up operator Sky Trek for 20 Kodiak single-engined turboprops. The deal with the membership-based charter provider was announced on 15 November, and marks the largest single order to date for the high-wing, all-metal type.

The first Kodiak was shipped to the Toyko-based Sky Trek in late October and the remaining units will be delivered over the coming 12 months.

Quest – owned by Japanese companies Setouchi Holdings and Mitsui – says Sky Trek was launched on 7 November and plans to begin charter services in the first half of 2017, offering membership-based programmes to private individuals and corporations.

“The Kodiak is extremely well-suited for use in Japan, where the topography and private transportation infrastructure can be challenging,” says Quest, referring to the aircraft’s short take-off and landing performance and multi-mission capability.

“The Kodiak can take off in under 1,000ft [745m] at full gross take-off weight of 7,255lb [3,290kg] and climb at over 1,300 feet per minute,” the company adds. “With powerful [Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-34] turbine performance, the Kodiak has the ability to land and take-off from unimproved surfaces and is capable of working off floats without structural upgrades.”

questkodiak

Flight Fleets Analyzer records a global fleet of more than 190 Kodiaks, the first having entered service in 2007. The Sandpoint, Idaho-based company shipped 23 examples in the first nine months of 2016, and Quest says it will pass the 200-unit delivery milestone by the end of the year.

Heard thru Flightglobal.com.

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