ALLIEDSIGNAL IS drawing up plans to move production of turbine engines from the former Textron Lycoming plant at Stratford, Connecticut, after a base-closure commission voted to close the US Army-owned factory.

The commission's proposed list of closures, could still be vetoed by President Clinton, as it recommends closing an air base in politically powerful California, with the loss of 11,000 jobs, but the Stratford decision is expected to stand.

AlliedSignal took over the plant, which produces T52 and T55 helicopter turbo-shafts and LF507 commercial turbofans, when it acquired the Lycoming turbine-engine business from Textron in 1994. The workforce is around 1,800.

AlliedSignal lobbied for the plant to remain open, and says that it will be "...impossible to maintain a cost-competitive, viable, manufacturing operation in Stratford" without the US Army's ownership and support.

The commission's recommendation is the second recent blow for the Stratford unit. AlliedSignal shelved development of the AS800 common-core engine, started under Textron Lycoming, after Bombardier selected rival Pratt & Whitney Canada's PW150 turboprop to power the new de Havilland Dash 8-400 regional airliner.

The company says that it will wait to see the new-product plans of the ATR/Jetstream/Avro joint venture AIR before deciding whether to restart development of the engine.

Source: Flight International