Buoyed by its position within Lockheed Martin’s global group of companies, Sikorsky subsidiary PZL Mielec is optimistic of driving fresh sales of its M28 Skytruck in several regions of the world.
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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New Zealand’s Pacific Aerospace has delivered the first P-750 XSTOL to the Thai market, as it looks to double annual shipments of the single-engined turboprop in 2017.
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High-tech sensors and systems may not be the only way to monitor engine health. Pratt & Whitney Canada has embarked on a project called Oil Analysis Technology, applying it first to the PT6A engine. But Program Manager Frederique Richard says the approach may have much wider applications.
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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.
Bill Hatfield, of Turbine Conversions, one of Covington’s customers, continues to operate the #3 produced Turbo Cat he installed himself in 1978. The first Turbo Cat conversion to be produced in 20 years was installed on a PT6A-15AG during the summer of 2011 at the Covington Aircraft facility in Oklahoma.
“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.”
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 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.
“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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Viking Air celebrated the production of its 100th Series 400 Twin Otter in Calgary this past summer, and is showing the aircraft, replete with seaplane floats and executive interior, on the NBAA 2016 static line.
Viking showed the prototype Series 400 here in Orlando in 2008. “It’s been a long tradition,” Viking Air president and CEO David Curtis told ShowNews. “We like to put it in front of all those white jets and show off something different.”
The 100th, s.n. 944, is operated as a factory demonstrator by Viking’s sister company, Victoria, B.C.-based Pacific Sky Aviation. Pacific Sky also provides Twin Otter training, in support of which it’s installed a new Level D simulator, also in Calgary. The new unit by-owned TRU Simulation + Training (Montreal) is the first in the world to feature a seaplane configuration, Viking says.
Viking holds the type certificates for all out-of-production de Havilland Canada aircraft, from the DHC-1 Chipmunk through the DHC-7 Dash-7 50-passenger STOL regional airliner. The Twin Otter was introduced as the DHC-6 in 1965.
Viking acquired the de Havilland type certificates in February 2006. The decision to launch the Series 400, the company says, “was made after a market study, supported by the worldwide Twin Otter operator group, revealed a strong demand for the new platform to replace the aging legacy fleet.” The Series 400 was formally launched in March 2007, and the first production aircraft flew in February 2010.issued the Series 400 type certificate that June. Aircraft have since been delivered in nearly 30 countries.
“The Series 400 is an all-new airplane,” says Curtis. Viking collaborator (and competitor) Ikhana, he notes, continues to convert legacy Twin Otters. Ikhana provides service and support for Viking-built aircraft too, and in fact did the VIP interior for the aircraft on display here today.
Viking’s Series 400 Twin Otter is available with standard landing gear, straight or amphibious floats, skis, wheel skis, or IFG/intermediate flotation gear – with multiple quick-change interior configurations available. “The Series 400 Twin Otter is a versatile aircraft that can be utilized for multiple roles, such as regional commuter, environmental monitoring, parachute operations, cargo and infrastructure support, corporate shuttle, and personal use,” the company says.
“We build a new Twin Otter every 15 days,” Curtis notes, adding that the current backlog is about 15 months. He says the number flying passengers is difficult to pinpoint, as interiors can be readily changed to suit the mission – an attraction for numerous customers.
“When I take a moment to reflect on the Series 400 program from the original launch to completion of our 100th aircraft, and all the challenges we have overcome in between, I am truly amazed at what the Viking team has accomplished,” Curtis said this past summer. “While there was doubt that a relatively unknown aerospace manufacturing company on the west coast of Canada would be up to the task, here we are, 100 production aircraft later.”
The $6.9 million Series 400 Twin Otter is powered by upgraded Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-34 engines, and features a fully integratedPrimus Apex digital avionics suite. Viking has fitted its modernized Twin Otter with internal and external LED lighting, “and approximately 800 other modifications incorporated to improve upon the original production model.”
Viking is now offering a “Phase II” avionics upgrade including Honeywell digital autopilot, TCAS II, and ADS/B capabilities.
And, for operators flying shorter VFR missions, Viking is promoting 400S (with floats) and 400L (with wheels) aircraft, priced at $5.995 million with PT6A-27 engines. They are about 400 pounds lighter than the standard Series 400 Twin Otter. Bleed air heating and cooling is absent, and there is a more modest avionics package.
“They don’t need a full suite in what to them is a pick-up truck,” Curtis says.
H/T Aviation Week.
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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.”
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.