Magellan Aerospace is to cease production of the Orenda Recip OE-600 V8 piston aero-engine because of the downturn in the general aviation market. The Toronto, Canada-based company, which reported a loss of C$8.2 million ($5.6 million) for 2002, is negotiating the termination of customer commitments while exploring the possibility of licensing the technology.

The 450kW (600hp) OE-600 was certificated in 1998 after a protracted and expensive development programme and was in low-rate initial production in Debert, Nova Scotia. Engines had been delivered to Moravan in the Czech Republic for the Z-400 Rhino utility aircraft, to China for the Hongdu N-5 and to TAI in Turkey for the Zui, both agricultural aircraft. Explorer Aircraft had selected the OE-600 for its 500R.

Several re-engining programmes were under way using the OE-600. An Orenda-powered de Havilland Canada Otter entered service in 2000 and was due to be followed this year by a re-engined de Havilland Canada Beaver. The first kits to re-engine Air Tractor agricultural aircraft were delivered last year and work on an Orenda-powered Ayres Thrush was under way. Certification flight testing of an OE-600 re-engined Beech King Air 90 was to resume this year, and the engine was flying on a Rockwell Twin Commander.

The liquid-cooled OE-600 was marketed as a replacement for older, high-power piston engines and lower-power turboprops, offering reduced acquisition and maintenance costs and fuel consumption.

Source: Flight International