It’s been a busy year at Textron Aviation Inc. and the Wichita-based company shared some of its milestones and accomplishments this week at the EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
It all started with the announcement that McCauley’s all-new unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) propeller for General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., a subsidiary of Textron, has achieved FAA certification.
John Dandurand, vice president and general manager of McCauley Propeller Systems, said, “This exciting milestone and the success of our UAV propeller program is the result of a decades-long relationship and collaboration between the McCauley and GA-ASI. Together we have worked on the design and development to ensure the highest quality propeller.
The specially designed propeller supports multiple mission possibilities. McCauley company officials noted that the two drones – the MQ-9B SkyGuardian and GA-ASI’s SeaGuardian – are equipped with McCauley’s four-bladed propeller and are designed to provide intelligence, surveillance and the gratitude. Missions range from the battlefield environment to humanitarian efforts.
“Through investments in the latest technology and engineering, we are powering the next generation of McCauley products and aftermarket solutions,” Dandurand said. “This is a continuation of our commitment to innovation in the general aviation, special mission and drone markets, in addition to new emerging technologies, including hybrid-electric vertical take-off and landing. and electric (eVTOL).”
Replacement Beechcraft Propeller
Speaking of propellers, Textron subsidiary McCauley Propeller provided an update on the development of its new 105-inch-diameter propeller for Beechcraft King Air 300-series turboprops. The propeller has four swept aluminum blades.
The design is undergoing performance testing and is progressing well, Dandurand said. “Not only will customers receive a propeller with a modern swept appearance, they will also benefit from reduced cabin and cockpit noise. Customers will also recognize a propeller weight saving of over 50 pounds per aircraft, thus increasing the overall payload for the operator. The result of the work we are currently doing with our test program will help us get through certification, ultimately bringing a high performance King Air B300 series propeller to market.”
McCauley company officials note that the new design has an extended time between overhaul (TBO) of 5,000 or 72 months and Textron Aviation’s limited propeller warranty of 4,000 hours or 36 months.
In addition, the installation of the McCauley propeller does not require changes to existing aircraft operating procedures or additional aircraft modifications. Propeller certification is expected in 2022, and advance orders are now being accepted by McCauley Propeller Systems or a McCauley Authorized Service Center.
McCauley is one of the largest full-line propeller manufacturers in the world, with over 80 years of experience and over 500 models available.
Textron Simulation Division
Propellers aren’t the only products coming from Textron, TRU Simulation + Training, a subsidiary of Textron Aviation Inc., announced that its Cessna Citation M2 Full Flight Simulator (FFS) has successfully achieved Level D qualification from the Civil Aviation Administration of China. . In a press release, Textron noted, “This is the first Citation M2 Level D full-flight simulator in service outside of the United States.”
“The success of the Cessna Citation M2 simulator program in China is the result of a long-standing relationship between the TRU and CAFUC teams,” said Jerry Messaris, vice president and general manager of TRU Simulation + Training. “TRU’s innovative and personalized design, production and support, in addition to the collaboration with CAFUC on the installation and qualification process, ensured a training device of the highest quality.”
The full flight simulator is located at the training center of Civil Aviation Flight University of China in Guanghan City. It will support the university’s fleet of four Citation M2 aircraft. CAFUC is the largest pilot training school in China.
The qualification of the M2 simulator marks one of TRU’s latest achievements. In April, TRU’s full-flight simulator for the Cessna SkyCourier received FAA Level D qualification. Additional qualifications for other training schemes are expected in 2022.
The simulator is equipped with the latest Garmin G3000 avionics and is designed to represent the cockpit and flight profile of the Citation M2. The company notes that TRU’s design incorporates the company’s third-generation control loading system which produces a very realistic flight experience, as the full flight motion of the simulator incorporates TRU’s REALCue system, using a motion base electric with 60-inch stroke actuators, while the visual system features high definition projectors on a 200 x 40 degree screen designed to create an immersive training environment.
The full-motion simulator joins CAFUC’s Cessna aircraft fleet, which includes 159 piston Cessna Skyhawks, the largest fleet of Skyhawks in China, and seven Cessna Citation CJ1/CJ1+ light jets.