How do you appraise the popular PT6A engine, and how can they enhance the performance of an older turboprop aircraft? Jeremy Cox offers background information on the world’s most-popular turboprop powerplant.
Company primed to start delivery of more planes following COVID-19 slowdown.
Epic Aircraft LLC has completed the delivery of two E1000 aircraft, the first of several E1000s that will eventually be in the hands of customers in countries and regions across the globe, including Russia, South Africa, Europe and South America.
The first aircraft delivery was completed in February, and the second delivery was made a week ago following delays caused by COVID-19 restrictions, according to a release from the Bend-based aircraft builder.
The E1000 has been in planning and production by Epic Aircraft for eight years, and completion of the initial delivery gives the company and its customers confidence that more planes will soon roll off the production line.
Production is also good news in today’s tough job market as the company employs over 300 workers in Bend.
“The E1000 is a remarkable aircraft, and seeing the enthusiasm of our owners as they take delivery is extremely gratifying,” said Eric chief executive Doug King.
“This is the successful culmination of eight years of hard work, extensive investment, and a passionate belief in our product.”
The E1000 is an all-composite, single-engine turboprop aircraft capable of flying coast to coast with just one fuel stop. The plane has a 1,200-horsepower PT6A-67A engine built by Pratt & Whitney and can travel at 330 knots. The plane can climb 4,000 feet per minute and is RVSM certified to fly at 34,000 feet. The company announced it had received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration for the E1000 in November.
Advanced deposits for the plane have been made by customers in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and other countries in Latin America and Europe. The company produces the planes at a 300,000 -square -foot facility at the Bend Airport.
Epic reports that it is working at full capacity and the company intends to ramp up customer deliveries as soon as possible following a slowdown caused by COVID-19.
“The challenges presented by COVID-19 have been unexpected and considerable,” said King. “But never underestimate the skills and determination of our dedicated staff, who have persevered, engineered, and improvised in order to keep our production lines moving.”
Acorn Welding Ltd has received STC approval from Transport Canada on new, next generation exhaust stacks for the DHC-6 Series Twin Otter Aircraft. This STC utilizes modern streamlined exhaust stacks developed in house by Acorn Welding that have been optimize for maximum recovery of loss from the PT6A family of engines.
In an effort to showcase the Piper M600 SLS’s Garmin-made autoland system, Piper is taking the show on the road starting this month. Over the next two months, the factory SLS will visit each Piper dealer in the U.S. to show off the HALO Safety System, which includes autoland and autothrottle.
The King Air® C90GTx is a whole new world of flying that offers the impressive King Air qualities of performance combined with comfort. This versatile workhorse has great range and payload due to its features like composite winglets, swept-blade propellers, and dual aft strakes. The King Air C90GTx is a favorite aircraft.
(Albany, Georgia) Thrush Aircraft has announced the return of its popular “Thrush Bucks” program, which rewards the purchaser of every new Thrush with $35,000 that can be spent on parts, options or training programs at the company. The Thrush Bucks program was first unveiled at the 2014 NAAA Convention and proved an immediate success. So much so that customers continued to ask about it years after it initially concluded.
“We understand buyers have choice – not only in the aircraft they choose, but in the timing of their purchase” said Eric Rojek, vice president of Thrush Aircraft. “And to help make that decision a little easier, and hopefully a little faster, we decided to re-instate Thrush Bucks for a limited time.”
The Thrush Bucks incentive program will be in place between now and January 31, 2020. To qualify, a customer need only place an order for a new Thrush, along with a standard deposit. In return, Thrush will award the customer $35,000 in Thrush Bucks, which can be spend on parts, options or any one of the company’s training programs for their new aircraft.
“We wanted to be sure and have this program in place prior to the new spray seasons – both in the U.S. and around the world – to enable buyers to obtain a build slot that would ensure their new aircraft was ready to go right to work” said Mr. Rojek. “It truly represents a win-win for both our customers and for our company – and, most important, it puts more new Thrush aircraft in air and working hard in a short amount of time.”
“$35,000 is a significant amount of money that will hopefully turn the head of just about any operator” Mr. Rojek continued. “It’s our way of putting some additional proof and real strength behind our message that that Thrush is back – and back stronger than ever.”
For more information on the Thrush Bucks program, or to place an order for a new Thrush, customers are invited to call Eric Rojek at (229) 789-0437.
Aircraft Thrush Aircraft Produces
The most dramatic innovation in agricultural aviation since the turbine engine could very well be the Thrush 510G. We’ve teamed exclusively with GE to produce this new-generation aircraft powered by the GE H80 turbine engine. The H80 provides increased temperature margins to enhance hot-day takeoff performance and high-altitude cruise speeds. This takes the 510G model to new levels of performance with a power output of 800 SHP above 100º F, increased SHP, lighter airframe, not to mention a low acquisition cost. And, like all Thrush aircraft, the 510G delivers plenty of thrust for full payload performance without sacrificing one bit of its amazingly agile handling.
Year after year, the Thrush 510P sets the standard for low maintenance, great handling, and the highest performance in its class. That’s not surprising since the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6-A powered 510P has continually evolved to take advantage of the latest technologies available. From MVP engine monitoring to advanced wire strike protection, the 510P is designed and built to work as hard as you do—and, like every Thrush, deliver the level of productivity, security and value you’ve come to expect from the most innovative aircraft manufacturer in the business.
Engine Pratt & Whitney PT6A-34AG
Hopper capacity Liquid 510 Gallons (1,930 liters) Dry: 66 cu ft (1.87 cu meters)
Typical operating weight 10,500 lbs (4,763 kg)
Takeoff distance at 10,500 lbs 1,530 feet (466 m)
Landing distance w/reverse 400 ft (122 m)
Cruising speed at55% power 150 mph (241 kph)
Imagine an aircraft that has set the ag industry standard for tough dependability and you’ve got the Thrush 550P. It offers you a 29,000-hour wing spar life and a 550-gallon clear-view hopper. No wonder this aircraft is renowned for its solidly rugged construction and revered for its simplified systems and worry-free maintenance. Now add the fact that its wide-stance spring landing gear is capable of absorbing 8,800 pounds on short, rough strips and its optional spring steel landing gear can be added to increase weight for takeoffs and landings, and you can pretty much check off whatever’s on your “to-do” list.
The new Thrush 710P is one of the world’s most powerful ag planes featuring one of the best swath and spray patterns available today. Plus, it boasts incredibly stable flight characteristics with performance to match. The 710P is one of those airplanes that descriptions do not do justice—you have to fly one for yourself to see if they’re really as good as everyone says. And when you push the throttle, you’ll feel the power and control you won’t find in any other airplane. Of course, the fact that it’s the crop spraying airplane of choice for negotiating rough strips, small fields, and obstacles should make you feel pretty darn good about the 710P, too.
Headquartered in Albany, Georgia, Thrush Aircraft manufactures a full range of aerial application aircraft used in agriculture, forestry and firefighting roles worldwide. Founded in 2003, Thrush is well-known for building the most durable aircraft in the aerial application and firefighting industries – as well as the best flying – from both pilot and operator perspectives. All Thrush models provide superb visibility, light control response, and a high degree of maneuverability and speed, along with superior efficiency and low direct operating costs. Today there are more than 2,400 Thrush aircraft operating in some 80 countries around the world.
Piper Aircraft introduced the next generation of its M600 single-engine turboprop on Wednesday. The M600 SLS—standing for safety, luxury, and support—will come equipped with Garmin’s newly announced Autoland system, which Piper says will make it “the first general aviation aircraft in the world to be certified with Autoland capability.” It also features Piper’s HALO Safety System, which includes autothrottle, Emergency Descent Mode, Enhanced Stability and Protection, Surface Watch, Safe Taxi and Flight Stream connectivity.
“The M600 SLS and its HALO Safety System with Autoland is the result of an unwavering commitment to safety as well as the desire to evolve our products based on market input,” said President and CEO Simon Caldecott. “The HALO System greatly enhances situational awareness and operational safety through the use of advanced technology and is one the most significant advancements in general aviation history. The team at Piper Aircraft is proud that we will be first to market with Garmin Autoland, which will ultimately help pave the way for others.”
The pressurized, six-seat M600 SLS is equipped with Garmin’s G3000 avionics suite and powered by the Pratt & Whitney PT6A-42A engine. It has a top cruise speed of 274 knots, range of 1,658 NM and maximum approved altitude of 30,000 feet. According to Piper, certification of the M600 SLS is “imminent” and the company expects to begin deliveries this quarter. The aircraft is priced at around $2.994 million.
Epic Aircraft has said that it will begin deliveries of its E1000 single-engined turbo-prop (SETP) in December after the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certified the aircraft earlier this month.
The E1000 has been through a seven-year development program that has taken the aircraft from a kit-only model to full certification.
“This is a remarkable accomplishment for our entire community,” said Epic CEO, Doug King. “I want to thank our employees, who have worked so diligently to deliver this exceptional design, as well as our partners, suppliers, and customers who have faithfully supported us each step of the way.
“It has been a true team effort, along with the fantastic support of the FAA.”
The E1000 is based on the company’s experimental Epic LT model, which was introduced to the market in 2005 through an owner-assist build program.
“Transitioning that design into a certified version was the chance to offer a truly compelling product to the industry, a ‘no compromises’ aircraft that customers would really want. And they do,” King added.
Epic says it has over 80 confirmed E1000 reservations from around the world, including the USA, Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, Europe, Russia, South Africa and Australia.
King said that the company could have achieved certification earlier by cutting some corners, but they weren’t prepared to compromise on the aircraft.
“We had some opportunities to speed things up along the way, to get certification earlier,” he said, “but that would have required some trade-offs that we weren’t willing to make. We consider performance to be our brand, so we decided to make it perform.”
The E1000 is a six-seat carbon-fibre aircraft powered by a PT6A-67A turbo-prop engine putting out 1200 shp. The book figures show a maximum speed of 325 KTAS, certified ceiliing of 34,000 feet and a maximum range at economy cruise of 1650 nm.