Category Archives: Planes

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.

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

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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.”

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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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Agricultural Planes & Turbine Aircraft Engines: A Match Made In Heaven

Af Planes and Turbine EnginesAgriculture planes are an integral part of the United States. The country has moved toward growing massive amounts of food per farm all across the country. These plots of land need to be seeded, fertilized and sprayed with pesticide in order for the farm to make food for the masses. The upkeep of huge plots of farm land can cost tens of thousands of dollars per year. As farmers and agricultural businesses try to turn a profit, they look for more creative ways to save money on the upkeep of their land. Continue reading Agricultural Planes & Turbine Aircraft Engines: A Match Made In Heaven

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What Is The True Cost Of A Grounded Agriculture Plane?

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It sure is fun to pull off to the side of the road and watch those agricultural planes do their work. These planes make a sweet sound as they swoop over country roads to spray a field. The lightweight plane is maneuverable and the pilot knows it. Going upside down, twists and turns are all part of the game. But most people don’t understand just how crucial the old “Ag plane” is to the business of farming crops. Continue reading What Is The True Cost Of A Grounded Agriculture Plane?

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Bush Planes

Where ground transportation is inadequate, and in some cases does not exist at all, companies use bush planes for passenger and freight transportation.  Bush planes are popular in remote locations, such as the Alaskan tundra, northern Canada, and the Australian outback, as well as many locations in Africa.  There are many varieties of bush planes, but most of them have common characteristics.


Characteristics Common to Bush Planes

The features of bush planes depend completely on the remote area they serve.  For those that must often land in water or snow, such as Alaska, Canada and Russia, the planes are fitted with floats or skis to make landing easier.  Almost all bush planes have high wings to make loading cargo easier and to improve downward visibility.  In order to reduce weight and drag, bush planes have conventional landing gear, consisting of two large main wheels and one small rear wheel.  Large, low-pressure tires are common on bush planes that must take off or land on unfinished or broken ground, and the planes offer short runway requirements as well, to allow for shorter ground rolls in areas with little clearance.

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Originally, bush planes were used in Canada in order to explore and develop the country, as well as for fire patrol and aerial photography.  The first bush pilot in Alaska was Carl Ben Eielson, an aviator during World War I who was originally from North Dakota.  He moved to Alaska after the war, working as a math and science teacher.  Eielson persuaded several citizens to invest in a Curtiss JN-4, which he used to transport passengers between settlements before obtaining an airmail contract to deliver mail between Fairbanks and McGrath in 1924.

Forest and Emergency Services

In addition to transporting passengers and cargo in remote areas, bush planes also provide important forest and emergency services.  In many areas, bush pilots assist in spotting forest fires, rescuing those stranded in the wilderness and, on occasion, controlling wildlife.  Some bush pilots work with the government to spot growing sites of illegal drugs as well.

Visit us at www.covingtonaircraft.com for more information about radial and turbine engine overhauls, maintenance, and repair.  You can also find us on Facebook andLinkedin.

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The Most Unique Planes on the Planet: Celebrities

There are some great planes out there, such as the War Birds flown by Clyde Zellers, but these planes truly take the cake! This is the first post of two on some of the most unique planes on the planet! Enjoy, and let us know if you have found some crazy planes by leaving a photo on our Facebook page!

When it comes to unique planes, some things aren’t practical and some things are impossible.

airplane-shaped-poolThere has been a rumor about a plane owned by someone so wealthy that there was a swimming pool onboard.  Sadly, research has turned up no mention of such a plane.  While it does spark the imagination, one has to consider logistics of such a feature.  The pool would have to remain empty until level, steady flight could be established, and there could be no maneuvering of the plane during use. If the plane experienced turbulence, the pool would have to be drained fast lest imbalance and shifting momentum create a fatal incident.  Furthermore, just the weight of any size pool would be enormous (water = 8 pounds per gallon).  A large bathtub may be more likely, but a pool sounds as practical in a large jet aircraft as a retractable sunroof.  There are, however, planes out there with some incredible features.

Celebrity owned aircraft.

Lumping celebrities with billionaires only seems fair.  If one has a billion dollars, it is hard to stay hidden for long, and people are bound to watch what you do.  The following is a short list of billionaire and celebrity owned aircraft and their special features.

Donald Trump’s $100 million jet with a reported $120 million in features.

donald-trump-jet-entertainment-center-300x203What, “The Donald” has to fly in a 43-year old Boeing 727? It’s fired!  Donald’s new, 757 has been sighted landing at LaGuardia Airport.  The 727 has been placed on the market for $8 million, but has not drawn any offers as of yet.  Mr. Trump purchased the 757 from fellow billionaire and co-founder of Microsoft, Paul Allen.  There are conflicting stories about how much of Mr. Allen’s interior remains, if any.  It is known that the jet spent a few months at a Georgia location before showing up at LaGuardia.  It has been reported that the jet features large leather swivel seating, a bedroom with two closets, a bathroom with gold sinks and fixtures, and a circular shower, flat-screen televisions and gold leaf plated seatbelt buckles.  A hard-to-miss feature is the Trump name on the sides of the plane done in 23 carat gold.

The Caribbean Cowboy’s love for airplanes and boats is legendary.

jimmy-buffet-plane-300x210Jimmy Buffett loves his planes and boats, so it is no wonder that he enjoys combining the two as an avid fan of seaplanes.  He currently owns four planes, a 1992 Dassault-Breguet Mystere Falcon 900, a 1998 Cessna Caravan 208 with floats attached, a 1941 Boeing E75 Stearman biplane, and a 1954 Grumman HU-16 named the Hemisphere Dancer.  The Grumman is the subject of his song, “Jamaica Mistaica,” which he wrote in honor of the Jamaican government who mistook his plane for that of a drug runner and began shooting at it while it was taxiing.  His passengers, Island Records producer Chris Blackwell, co-pilot Bill Dindy, U-2’s Bono, and Bono’s wife and children were unhurt, as was Jimmy.  The plane escaped with only a few new air inlet ports.

One cannot talk about planes and celebrities without mentioning John Travolta.

The planes belonging to John Travolta may not have all the intricate attention to lavish detail that some of the others have, but that isn’t what anyone talks about when his planes are mentioned.  What they talk about is where he keeps his planes.  John can wake up at home in the morning, have his breakfast, kiss the wife and kids, walk out to the hanger, climb in the cockpit and travel to his work destination.  While this may be true for some lucky others, there are few for whom it is a Boeing 707-100 and a vintage Gulfstream G-2.  By the way, if you look up pictures of his house, the control tower over the dining room is reported as being a mock-up.

Check the next post as we get away from the celebrity talk and get down to some very unique planes! As always, if you ever need your own plane engine looked at, be sure to stop by Covington Aircraft’s website, and give us a call!

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