A holiday dip in productivity is normal across a whole range of industries, but it’s crucial to make sure that the ebb and flow of the calendar doesn’t result in any kind of safety issue. Continue reading Common Turbine Engine Maintenance Mistakes Can Ground You For The Holidays
When it was developed in 1963, the PT6 was the first turboprop engine rated at 450 shaft horsepower, impressing Beechcraft to the point that the company chose to install the engine in their King Air line of turboprop twins. Fast-forward 50 years, and Beechcraft still choose the PT6, although of ever-increasing power ratings, to power their engines.
Before The PT6
Pratt & Whitney began development of the PT6 in the late 1950’s in an attempt to replace the manufacturer’s Wasp radial engines, developed during in the 1930’s. In 1925, Frederick Rentschler, President of Wright Aeronautical, approached his brother, Gordon, and Edward Deeds, who were both on the board of Niles Bement Pond, convincing them that Pratt & Whitney Machine Tool, a subsidiary of Niles, should fund the creation of a new aircraft engine Rentschler and a colleage, George Mead, were developing. The engine was to be a large, air-cooled radial design. The executives at Pratt & Whitney saw an opportunity for growth and lent Rentschler $250,000, the use of the Pratt & Whitney name and space in their building to begin creating the new engine. Rentschler left Wright Aeronautical and took over operations of Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Division, The first of the Wasp series debuted on December 24, 1925, quickly becoming one of the most widely used aircraft engines in the industry due to their superior speed, rate of climb and reliability. Charles Lindbergh and Ameila Earhart both set records in Wasp-powered aircraft.
Wasp to Hornet
With the development of the PT6 still a few decades away, Pratt & Whitney created the next line of radial engines, the Hornet, rated at 525 horsepower. The dependability of both the Wasp and the Hornet made them very popular among commercial aircraft, and as the public use of air travel increased, so did the demand for Pratt & Whitney engines. As it became apparent that the United States would enter World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt called on manufacturers to produce 50,000 aircraft a year for military use, requiring Pratt & Whitney to expand its workforce from 3,000 to 40,000. Throughout the war, Pratt & Whitney continued to innovate, until, by the end of the war, their largest engine provided 3,600 horsepower. However, radial engines were slowly being replaced by lighter turboprop engines.
Vision of the PT6
In 1957, Pratt & Whitney saw an opportunity to channel profits from the piston engine spare parts business to the development of smaller gas turbine engines than those currently being manufactured in the United States. The company gathered a team of 12 young engineers after conducting market studies that found there was a need for a 500 shaft horsepower engine that could replace piston engines, such as the Wasp and Hornet. In December 1963, Pratt & Whitney shipped the first of the PT6 series, the PT6A-6, a highly innovative gas turbine representing technology advances that were significant at the time. Because gas turbines have a higher power to weight ratio than piston engines, the PT6 was perfect for aviation engines.
The PT6 has enjoyed a rich and colorful history since it began production in 1963, and Pratt & Whitney is proud to celebrate the 50th anniversary of this timeless aircraft engine. Learn more about the colorful past, pioneers who flew this engine and continuing evolution of an engine ahead of its time. For more information on the PT6 or about aircraft maintenance, contact Covington Aircraft online or by telephone today.
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Pilots use cockpit controls that receive information from the engine, like the PT-6A, for optimum ground handling of turbo prop airplanes. However, without landing equipment and gear, the plane could not be controlled on the ground at all. Landing equipment and gear are used for takeoff, landing, and taxiing of an airplane.
Conventional Landing Gear
Planes with two wheels forward of the aircraft’s center of gravity are known as conventional landing gear. Often seen in older aircraft, pilots must brake carefully as, without a wheel at the front of the plane, the turbo prop airplanes pitch easily. Because the tail is free to move in any direction, planes with conventional landing gear are difficult to control when landing or taking off, even with the cockpit controls found with the PT-6A engine.
Tricycle Landing Gear
Tricycle landing gear looks much like its name indicates, with one wheel on the nose of the plane and two main wheels. This configuration makes the plane less likely to tip over and easier to handle on the ground.
Tandem Landing Gear
Used for very large aircraft, tandem landing gear has two sets of main landing gear, located one behind the other on the fuselage. This allows planes with highly flexible wings to be better managed on the ground. In some cases, small wheels are added to the tips of the wings to keep them from scraping the ground.
Turbo prop airplanes, such as the PT-6A, often have cockpit power-plant controls for greater ground-handling capability. Although these controls focus on propeller control, the propeller and landing gear often work in tandem, especially during takeoff and landing. Because landing equipment and gear are a crucial part of the ground operations of any airplane, these cockpit controls found on the PT-6A play an important role in ensuring the safe takeoff and landing of turboprop airplanes.
Visit us at www.covingtonaircraft.com for more information about radial and turbine engines, such as the PT-6A. Learn more about overhauls, maintenance and repairs, and be sure to find us on Facebook and LinkedIn.
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Which Celebrity Owns the Most Expensive Business Jet?
Information about the highest-priced jets owned by celebrities is not easy to find.
The answer to this question will have to be a multiple answer because the price paid for a business jet can add up to a good deal more than the price of the jet. With the price of customization of an aircraft as an unknown, it is hard to determine which high-flying palace cost the most. The concession will be a listing of who owns what and let your imagination run wild from there. One thing is for certain, there are people out there who own some beautiful aircraft.
If we are going to list the most expensive business jets, why not start with the biggest?
The biggest of the business jets we found belongs to Sergey Brin and Larry Page, the co-founders of Google. Their Boeing 767-200 wide body is by far the biggest. During the customization of the interior, there was a legal issue with the designer, so the total cost of refurbishment included legal fees. This flying penthouse features two private staterooms, seating for fifty and, of course, a kitchen.
John Travolta loves to fly his Boeing 707-138B.
The price of this plane comes into question. John received his 707B from Quantas Airlines as payment for his continued ambassadorship for the airline. Built in 1964, the 138B was a model only purchased by Quantas. This model is 10 feet shorter in the rear fuselage, making it the shortest of the 707’s and helping to give it an increased range. Purchased by Quantas new, it has since been through a number of owners, including Frank Sinatra from 1972 to 1975. It shares its home with a vintage Gulfstream IISP and the Travolta family. Yes, the family lives in a home near Ocala, Fla., off of John’s 1.4 mile private airstrip. The planes are both berthed in carport-like structures that are attached to the home. The Travolta home resembles a squat control tower. The 707 is the family vehicle while the Gulfstream is John’s sports car.
Oprah cruises around at Mach 0.85.
The leathery interior of the Bombardier Global Express XSR was purchased by the production company, HARPO, for Oprah Winfrey. It’s touted as the most expensive business jet at $49.3 million just for the jet, excluding interior furnishings. With a 94-foot wingspan and a 99-foot, 5-inch length, it is not as large as the commercial liners, but it will leave them behind. Cruising at Mach 0.85 (Mach 0.89 top speed) it will travel 6,150 miles with a ceiling of 51,000 feet. Designed to seat nine and a crew of four, the cabin sports 6 foot, 3 inches of head room and a floor-line width of 6 foot, 11 inches with a length of 48 feet. This aircraft has been in production since 2005.
What will power your flying penthouse?
When considering a power plant for a corporate aircraft, three things should come to mind: dependability, versatility and the latest technology. Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PT6A can provide the power to ensure you are receiving the value your investment in an aircraft should deliver. The reason to own a private or business jet is to ensure you can get where you need to go, when you want to go there. Covington Aircraft is a Pratt & Whitney Canada authorized distributor and designated overhaul facility. Founded in 1972, Covington Aircraft has seen a lot of overhauls, knowing what makes the PT6A the most popular engine in its class. Offering state-of-the-art engine testing facilities and new engine installations, Covington Aircraft maintains a complete line of engine parts and accessories so they can get you back in the air in the shortest time possible. Competitive pricing on aircraft engine services ensures that what is important to you is important to them, especially your bottom line.
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As the world’s most popular engine in its class, the Pratt and Whitney Canada PT6 engine series continues to be the standard for aviators everywhere. Ever since its development in the late 1950’s, the PT6 engine has combined dependability and versatility with the latest in technology to create an engine that withstands the test of time.
History of PT6A
After successfully designing and manufacturing the Wasp radial engines in the first half of the 1900’s, Pratt & Whitney Canada decided to branch out and begin working on a turboprop engine design. The first PT6 engine took flight on a Beech 18 aircraft in 1961, and the engines began being mass-produced in 1963. In just 40 short years, over 36,000 PT6A engines have been manufactured, accumulating 300 million flying hours.
Today, there are over 65 different PT6A engine models, providing flexibility for various types of aircraft installations. From commercial and general aviation to corporate and agricultural planes, Pratt and Whitney Canada engines can be found on aircraft in over 170 countries.
Servicing Your Engine
Since the PT6A is such a popular engine, parts are readily available for engine overhaul and maintenance. If you own a plane with a PT6A engine, and are searching for a facility to provide maintenance and service, it’s important to find a place that provides the highest quality service at competitive prices. You should only trust your aircraft to a Pratt and Whitney Canada authorized Distributor and Designated Overhaul Facility, like Covington Aircraft, that conducts thorough inspections of PT6A engines and other parts.
So, if you need maintenance performed on any member of the PT6A engine series, choose a facility, like Covington Aircraft, that will provide you with individualized service at low prices. We’ve got one of the fastest turnaround times available, because we understand that time on the ground means less money for you. Give us a call or stop by our facility today to learn more about our engine overhaul and maintenance services.
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Covington Aircraft maintains a firm commitment to quality service and trust, to both the corporate and agriculture aircraft markets throughout the world. As a certified Pratt & Whitney Canada Distributor and Designated Overhaul Facility, we strive to uphold not only our own integrity and dependability but are trusted by Pratt & Whitney Canada to uphold their strong, reliable reputation as well.
Dedicated to God and family-owned, we concentrate on what matters most. Making our services affordable while staying true to our core values is essential to our commitment to our faith, and to our customers.
In the words of one of our employees:
“If there is no trust, you will always be worried about your safety. A lot of others shops try to just move people in and out to get their cash and move on. Covington strives to build a relationship with customers based on trust and not just on how fast we can solve the issue.”–Ron Hollis
Covington Aircraft is not just a company that specializes in the overhaul and maintenance of Pratt & Whitney Canada R-985 and R-1340 radial engines but also sets an example for all companies with its tried and true dedication to being a valued, honest support system in the aircraft industry.
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Covington Aircraft and Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) have been working together for over sixteen years. Covington started out as a P&WC Agricultural Service and has now been named a Pratt & Whitney Canada Certified Distributor and Designated Overhaul Facility.
Founded in 1925, Pratt & Whitney has been designing, manufacturing and servicing aircraft engines for customers around the world. They have also been heavily involved in the U.S. Space Program from its inception. An innovative leader in technology, they choose partners carefully, as they have in naming Covington Aircraft a Certified Distributor and Designated Overhaul Facility.
This new direction in the relationship means that we here at Covington have expanded our service and overhaul and maintenance to a wider range of PT6A engines. We are maintaining our contact with the agricultural market but also now provide quality service for the corporate world as well.
In this new arrangement, we will repair and overhaul R-985 radial engines and R-1340 radial engines. Need private plane or commercial aircraft maintenance? We’ll do that too in our modern, state-of-the-art facility. We can perform 100 hour inspections and complete full overhaul in our hangers as well as come to you for any major work or removals or installations. Our facility ensures the very best service possible with the very latest equipment and technology.
Pratt & Whitney recognizes our commitment to earn customer trust and reliability and our dedication to working just as hard to keep it. Low prices, dependable aircraft repair and quality overhauled aircraft engines are all essential to this working relationship in order to provide customers with world-class corporate and agricultural aircraft service.
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