Category Archives: PT6A Engine

IS&S PC-12 Autothrottle ThrustSense Transforms the Turboprop Single, Eyeing King Air 200 Next

This is an excerpt from a very interesting article you should fully read over at FlyingMag. Below are quick highlights. 

What is this voodoo? I’d been glancing outside the airplane, a last check for traffic on short final, as Eric Smedberg, chief pilot for Innovative Solutions & Support, swung the Pilatus PC-12 onto the runway and engaged the autothrottle system with a simple press of a button.

I looked down just in time to see the power lever advancing from the idle position to max continuous takeoff thrust, which on this day was a little more than halfway to the forward stops. Seeing the autothrottles in action on a business jet or airliner is no big deal, but in a PC-12 powered by a Pratt & Whitney PT6A lacking full-authority digital engine control, that lever shouldn’t move by itself. It was like a ghost was in our presence — a decidedly friendly ghost, I had to admit.

IS&S’s PC-12 served as the certification test airplane for ThrustSense.

For nearly the next two hours of flying, including climbs, cruise flight, descents and required navigation performance (RNP) precision instrument approaches, neither Smedberg nor I adjusted the power lever or touched the yokes. Occasional button pressing and knob twisting, plus radio calls and the requisite scans for traffic on this VFR day, were about the only duties necessary for the human pilots on the round-robin demonstration flight across central New Jersey. It wasn’t until we were on final approach for landing back at Morristown Municipal Airport that Smedberg clicked off the autothrottle at 500 feet and took manual control from the unseen computerized apparition that had been working furiously — and flawlessly, I must report — behind the scenes to keep us perfectly on speed, course and altitude throughout our time aloft.

Smedberg says the autothrottle can be adapted to virtually any PT6A-powered airplane by adding the ISU standby display, which operates the thrust computer software that makes the autothrottle function. Testing of ThrustSense aboard a King Air 200 is well underway. IS&S and Blackhawk Modifications have already announced an agreement for Blackhawk to distribute and install IS&S’s NextGen flight deck and integrated turboprop autothrottle system for King Air 200s and 350s — and for good reason. The two models account for more than 3,000 airplanes, according to IS&S, and there are another 2,000 C90 through E90 and F90 King Air models that are candidates for the upgrades as well.

Testing of ThrustSense is well underway in the King Air 200, IS&S says.

The King Air NextGen flight deck will be similar to the STC’d PC-12 avionics upgrade, but in the twin-PT6A King Air applications, the autothrottle will include engine-out thrust control, which in case of engine failure automatically sets the remaining engine to the correct power level if airspeed drops below minimum controllable airspeed. The idea is that the pilot can maintain control as the autothrottle works to mitigate adverse yaw, allowing the airplane to safely accelerate under full control.

Read the full details over at FlyingMag

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Essentials For Your PT6A Engine Oil Analysis

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

In an aircraft engine, oil is much more than just a lubricant. It plays a number of other important roles, including cooling, cleaning and noise reduction. It’s therefore vital to monitor and analyze oil to ensure it’s doing its job properly.

WHEN AND WHAT TO ANALYZE

Engine oil sampling and analysis are recommended if a visual inspection reveals that the oil is very dark, has an unusual odor or exhibits other abnormal properties. You don’t necessarily have to change the oil, but at the very least, it should be analyzed to determine its total acid number (TAN) and water content.

Typically, the water concentration in brand-new oil varies between 0.02% and 0.04%, or 200 and 400 parts per million (ppm). However, water can enter the engine’s oil system due either to accidental contamination during compressor wash or normal condensation. Since aircraft engine oils easily absorb water and moisture from the air, their water content will rise over time. If it exceeds 1000 ppm, the TAN may rise as well, eventually leading to engine component corrosion.

HOW TO SAMPLE AIRCRAFT ENGINE OIL

When you take an oil sample, identify it with the brand name, engine serial number, total run time (oil life) and engine time since new (TSN) or time since overhaul (TSO). Have the sample analyzed for its TAN and water content by an approved laboratory. If necessary, ask the lab to analyze the oil viscosity and additives as well.

If a parameter exceeds the established limit, it’s recommended that you: 1) drain and discard the oil from the tank; 2) check the condition of the oil filter and, if needed, replace it with a new one; 3) refill the tank with fresh oil.

If you have access to the right kits, you could also perform the analysis yourself. Use a Titra-Lube TAN Test Kit to analyze the oil’s TAN and a HydroScout Analyzer kit for the water content.

Read more: Oil Analysis Technology Makes Proactive Maintenance Easier.

RACK YOUR OIL CONSUMPTION

Every time you add oil into your engine, write down the amount so that you can calculate the average consumption. Check this figure against the limits indicated in the maintenance manual. If the engine is using more oil than it should, there may be a part that needs maintenance. For example, a damaged O-ring could be causing a leak, or something may be happening in the engine that’s burning up extra oil.

Oil is key to your engine’s health and performance, so give it the attention it deserves by following the advice above.

Read all technical tips and talk from our experts about aircraft engine oil on Airtime.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF AVIATION GAS TURBINE ENGINE LUBRICANTS

The earliest aviation piston engines were lubricated with natural oils such as castor oil and refined mineral oils. However, they lacked the thermal-oxidative stability needed for high-temperature mechanical systems and would form deposits like gum and lacquer on metal surfaces.

In the 1950s, following research efforts aimed at improving thermal-oxidative stability, synthetic polyester-based lubricants became the base stock of choice for aviation gas turbine engine oils. Thanks to their chemical properties, these lubricants are effective over a wide temperature range, from -65oF to 425oF. They possess good thermal-oxidative stability, high lubricating film strength, good surface wetting, and low friction and wear rates, making them ideal for aircraft engines.

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Quest Eyes Special Missions Roles for PT6A Powered Kodiak

Quest Aircraft is seeking to broaden the customer base for its Kodiak 100 single-engined turboprop with the expansion into the special missions market.

Rob Wells, chief executive of the Sandpoint, Idaho–based airframer, says the utility aircraft has found a successful niche in the charter, commercial short-haul, corporate, and cargo markets, but its unique features make it an ideal platform for other applications, such as law enforcement, surveillance and military transport. “We have been working on a concept for a year now, and there is no shortage of interest,” he says.

Kodiak 100 on Floats

The Kodiak’s appeal comes from a host of features including its wing, which has a discontinuous leading edge, giving it “fantastic” low-speed performance.

The Kodiak’s high-wing loading also creates a stable platform – a necessity for a surveillance operation. The Kodiak’s cargo pod can store sensors, and its large cargo door allows for the easy transfer of equipment, while the large windows are “ideal”, Wells says, for an observation role. The aircraft also has a 9.5h loiter time.

In April, Quest introduced the second-generation version of the Kodiak – powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-34 – and Wells says response to the aircraft has been “overwhelming”, with 10 examples delivered to date.

The Series II has a host of new enhancements and equipment, including Garmin’s next generation G1000NXi flightdeck; additional storage in the cockpit; a restyled cargo doorstep to “reduce weight and improve functionality”; and improved fuselage seals to provide “even better” soundproofing and cabin ventilation.

Since its introduction in 2008, Quest has incorporated over 200 enhancements into the short take-off and landing Kodiak, including the introduction of two new interiors; an increased landing weight; and the integration of the Garmin GFC 700 automatic flight control system.

FlightGlobal’s Fleets Analyzer database records a global fleet of more than 255 of the all-metal aircraft. The company shipped 31 examples in 2017.

Quest Kodiak 100 Series II Specs

Quest Kodiak 100 Series II
Price typically equipped$2.36 million
EnginePratt & Whitney PT6A-34, 750 hp
PropellerHartzell, aluminum four-blade, 96 in.
SeatsUp to 10
Length34 ft. 2 in.
Height15 ft. 3 in.
Interior width4 ft. 6 in.
Wingspan45 ft.
Wing area240 sq. ft.
Wing loading30.2 lb./sq. ft.
Power loading9.67 lb./hp
Max gross weight7,255 lb.
Max ramp weight7,305 lb.
Payload3,355 lb.
Useful load445 lb.
Max usable fuel315 gal.
Max operating altitude25,000 ft.
Max rate of climb1,340 fpm
Fuel flow (max cruise)48 lb./hour
High speed cruise183 kTas
Long range (1,000 lb. payload)1,132 nm
Range (high speed, nbaa reserves)1,132 nm
Stall speed, MTOW60 kcas
Takeoff over 50 feet1,467 ft.
Landing over 50 feet1,508 ft.
Engine TBO4,000 hours

Information via Flyingmag.com

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Blackhawk Launches XP67A Engine+ Upgrade Program for the King Air 300 Series

OSHKOSH, Wisconsin – July 23, 2018 – Blackhawk Modifications is proud to announce the launch of the XP67A Engine+ Upgrade for the King Air 300 Series, which pairs the Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) 1200 shaft horsepower (SHP) PT6A-67A engine with the MT 5-blade composite propeller for superior performance, noise abatement, and weight reduction. Blackhawk now has a King Air 300 in experimental category and will begin certification efforts in August.

Continue reading Blackhawk Launches XP67A Engine+ Upgrade Program for the King Air 300 Series

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Pilot Report: The PT6A Powered Piaggio Avanti Evo

The P.180 Avanti Evo has a “wow” factor that is not present with many other twin turboprops of a similar size. Yes, it does have three lifting surfaces, a T-tail and two pusher propellers but it’s how they are put together that is the important thing. The forward wing (not to be called a canard, as it has no moving flight controls other than forward flaps) is positioned on the underside of a gracefully sweeping nose and is home to two pitot tubes underneath and, unusually in Western types, has a significant anhedral.

Continue reading Pilot Report: The PT6A Powered Piaggio Avanti Evo

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Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PT6A-140AG Engine Achieves Seamless Entry Into Service on Air Tractor’s AT-502XP

Marking a successful entry into service (EIS), roughly 25 PT6A-140AG-powered AT-502XP aircraft have been delivered to customers around the world since certification. The EIS of Pratt & Whitney Canada’s latest engine for aerial application aircraft is progressing and as the application season in the Northern Hemisphere winds down, the engine has been performing very well. Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX).

Continue reading Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PT6A-140AG Engine Achieves Seamless Entry Into Service on Air Tractor’s AT-502XP

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Trip Report: PT6A-34 Powered Quest Kodiak Series II

Driving on an early May morning to Sandpoint, Idaho, to see the Quest Aircraft factory and then fly a new Kodiak 100 Series II to California, it was clear that icing conditions were not only forecast but likely in the wet gray clouds that shrouded the local mountains. For the flight-into-known-icing-certified Kodiak, however, icing is not a problem, and in the 11 years since it entered service, the capable utility single-engine turboprop has proven its mettle in challenging flying all over the world.

Continue reading Trip Report: PT6A-34 Powered Quest Kodiak Series II

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FAA Awards Supplemental Type Certificate for King Air 350ER XP67A Engine Upgrade to the PT6A-67A

SPARKS, Nev. (June 12, 2018)  – Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) has teamed with Blackhawk Modifications’ subsidiary for government and military sales division, Vector-Hawk Aerospace (VHA), to offer the Blackhawk XP67A Engine+ Upgrade Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) Kit for the Beechcraft King Air 350ER. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently approved Blackhawk Modifications’ XP67A engine upgrade for the aircraft at takeoff weights up to 17,500 pounds maximum allowable takeoff weight (MTOW), significantly increasing the weight capability for special mission applications.

Continue reading FAA Awards Supplemental Type Certificate for King Air 350ER XP67A Engine Upgrade to the PT6A-67A

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