Orenda Recip has received Canadian approval to begin production of its 450kW (600hp) OE-600A vee-8 piston aero engine. Certification of the first re-engineing programme using the powerplant is expected before year-end, with others pending.

The Canadian company plans to produce engines at a new plant set to open at Debert, Nova Scotia, later this year. Orenda says it has orders and options for 180 engines and installation kits worth more than $25 million. The largest customer is US-based Stevens Aviation, which is re-engineing the Raytheon Beech King Air C90B, replacing Pratt &Whitney Canada PT6A turboprops. Stevens has 140 engines on order, says Orenda, and expects to certificate the re-engined King Air by year-end.

Several other re-engineing programmes are under way using the OE-600A, including:

Rockwell Twin Commander - flight testing is imminent, with the retrofit to be marketed by North Dakota-based Mr RPM and Dakota Manufacturing; de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver - certification by British Columbia-based Viking Air is expected in the second quarter of 1999; de Havilland DHC-3 Otter - certification by Montreal-based Air Wilga is also expected in the second quarter of next year; Air Tractor - Orenda is developing this conversion, which is scheduled for certification in the second quarter of 1999; Piper PA-31P - Fresno-based Central California Aviation plans to begin work on re-engineing the pressurised Navajo later this year; Cessna 421 - Orenda has completed a feasibility study, which indicates the likely success of a conversion programme.

In addition, the OE-600Ahas been selected to power two high-performance kitplanes, the Lancair Tigress (flight testing of which is imminent) and the AviaBellanca Skyrocket III.

Source: Flight International