Orenda Aerospace has delayed certification of its 370-560kW (500-750hp) piston-engine family after testing was halted by crankshaft manufacturing defects. The Canadian firm now expects to certificate the engine in the second quarter of 1997, rather than by the end of 1996.

Orenda says that the final 150h endurance test required for certification was terminated because of known flaws in the crankshaft. New hardware is expected within 12-16 months, the company hopes to resume testing where it left off. Meanwhile, testing of other improvements continues, including cast-iron cylinder sleeves for the aluminium block and new Cosworth-supplied pistons and rings.

Flight testing of the Orenda engines on a Raytheon Beech King Air could begin early in 1997, using "good" examples of the original crankshafts, the company says. Stevens Aviation has ordered 140 450kW engines with which to re-engine King Air C90s, and production deliveries are due to begin in the second or third quarter of 1997.

Orenda expects to select a Canadian site where it will make the engines and refurbish and re-engine Cessna 421 and Piper Navajo piston twins. A de Havilland Canada Beaer, re-engined by Orenda, is to be flown early in 1997, as is a re-engined Rockwell Twin Commander.

The company says that it has supplied engine data to high-performance-kitplane manufacturer Lancair, to Pilatus Britten-Norman for possible re-engining of the Defender 4000 and to StarKraft for its planned pusher-tractor twin.

Source: Flight International