Who Will Power the T-X Trainer? Play the Percentages

by Carter Palmer, Power Systems Specialist, Forecast International.

Boeing/Saab T-X Trainer. Source – Boeing

The T-X competition is receiving a lot of attention in the aviation world. Such a lucrative contract—350 aircraft and further orders likely—promises a heated contest, with the triumphs and upsets a competition of this scale brings. The contending entrants are impressive and include both clean-sheet and current production models. While the designers – Boeing/Saab, Lockheed Martin/KAI, Leonardo, Sierra Nevada/TAI, and Stavatti – prepare for the impending battle, it’s worth a look at the engines that will power the aircraft. Continue reading

APUs Don’t Compete with the Big Boys, but They’re Important Nonetheless

by Carter Palmer, Power Systems Specialist, Forecast International.

Pratt & Whitey Canada's APS3200 APU

Pratt & Whitey Canada’s APS3200 APU

Turbines come in all shapes and sizes, but the unsung heroes of modern aviation are the turbines that start the turbines, the auxiliary power units, or APUs. These small, robust, and comparatively small powerplants provide essential power to both military and civil aircraft. Despite the fairly wide range of applications of APUs, the market is occupied by surprisingly few players. The forecast for these powerplants is rather steady. Unless there is a minor setback in the next 15 years, production should average about 3,000 units per year. Continue reading

T55 Soldiers On Aboard Venerable CH-47 Chinook

by Carter Palmer, Power Systems Specialist, Forecast International.

Boeing CH-47F Chinook

Boeing CH-47F Chinook

When an aviation platform passes 50 years of continuous military service, it joins a prestigious, albeit small, group of aircraft. The group gets significantly smaller when another proviso is added, that of being in current production. The Boeing CH-47 Chinook is a member of this elite group, and its august Honeywell T55 gas turbine engine has been with the platform from the beginning. Continue reading