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Agilis takes the covers off higher-thrust engine

Market newcomer has raised the capability of its powerplant to improve its versatility

Agilis Engines unveiled a full-scale mockup of its TF-1000 general-aviation turbofan at the air show, but remains tight-lipped about plans for the engine.

TF-1000 is the new designation for the engine selected by Safire Aircraft for its planned S-26 personal jet. Last March, Safire ordered 800lb-thrust (3.6kN) TF-800 turbofans, but will now receive TF-1000s, says Paul Gardner, Agilis business development manager.

The change in engine designation reflects the increased 1,000lb thrust capability available for other applications, he says. Weighing in at under 105kg (230lb) including accessories, the TF-1000 has a thrust-to-weight ratio of 4:1. Cruise fuel consumption at 35,000ft (11,000m) is 95litres/h (25USgal/h), which is competitive with piston engines, Agilis says.

The TF-1000 will be the first full engine developed and certificated by Agilis, an engineering services company set up by former Pratt & Whitney employees and based in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. The company remains cagey about its schedule for the programme.

Core testing is to begin late this year, and sea-level testing of the first engine is due to begin soon after. "Substantial completion of the core and engine tests will allow flight testing to support customer aircraft certification schedules," Agilis says.

Safire is still planning to certificate its S-26 in 2003, but has yet to secure financing to complete the programme. Agilis is funding the engine programme independently, says Gardner.

"Our goal is to be certificated ahead of Safire and the engine will be available to others in the same timescale," he says. "We are actively marketing the engine for other applications, and have talked to several airframers, but have nothing to disclose."

The TF-1000 is being offered in competition against the Williams International FJ22, a version of which will power Eclipse Aviation's Eclipse 500 personal jet. Agilis says use of proven technologies will reduce development lead-time, minimise the probability of parts failing during test, allow fewer design iterations as well as faster accumulation of run time, and produce a reliable and robust engine.

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