The AlliedSignal-led team which is developing the RE220 auxiliary power unit (APU) is refocusing its efforts on the regional-aircraft market, following the virtual completion of the Gulfstream V flight-test programme, followed by the beginning of the Bombardier Global Express test effort.

The APU produces up to 280kW (375hp) equivalent power, and was designed with the new generation regional jets specifically in mind, says RE220 programme manager Tom Williams. With seven APUs now being flight-tested (five on the GV and two on the Global Express) total running hours have reached around 7,000 with 10,000 starts. Of this, some 1,500 "APU hours" have been amassed on the GV fleet and 200h on the Global Express. Hours on the Global Express are expected to rise more quickly after April when a third test aircraft is due to join the fleet at Wichita, Kansas.

"The next thing is to be successful in penetrating the regional market," says Williams who adds that AlliedSignal is "in the final stages" of selection for the 70-seat Canadair Regional Jet Series 700. Other potential applications include the AI(R) Jet 70, Sino-European A318/AE-100, IPTN N2130, Mitsubishi-Bombardier BJX90/ BJZ120, Fairchild Dornier 428 Jet and Embraer EMB-170, as well as several proposed turboprops.

AlliedSignal and its RE220 partners, BMW Rolls Royce, Kawasaki, Singapore Technologies and Alfa Romeo, are now into initial production of the first batch of APUs and have delivered 12 to Gulfstream. AlliedSignal says that the engine has performed flawlessly in flight tests, although "some development work" was needed to develop the correct schedule for opening the ram-air scoop for air starts at varying speeds and altitudes, and for improving the battery starting of the APU. Air starts of the engine have also been demonstrated at up to 43,000ft.

Source: Flight International