HAWKER SIDDELEY Canada's Orenda division is to seek certification of the new Orenda Series piston engine on the Raytheon Beech King Air 90 under an agreement with US modification centre Stevens Aviation.

Toronto-based Orenda will supply two 450kW (600hp) OE-600A liquid-cooled, twin-turbo-charged, Vee-8 engines in July for installation on a Stevens-owned King Air C90B in place of the present Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A turboprops.

Orenda plans to certificate the OE-600A by the end of this year and will own the supplemental type certificate for the re-engine King Air. Greensboro, North Carolina-based Stevens will market, install and service the engines.

Stevens says that the Orenda 600 is expected to increase the climb performance and cruise speed (and reduce the field length and operating cost) of the King Air "at very low installed cost".

The two companies see a market for more than 500 King Air conversions. At $100,000, the Orenda 600 costs less than the likely overhaul cost of a PT6A, the manufacturer argues.

In addition, fuel consumption is reduced and altitude performance improved. Orenda is aiming for an initial time between overhauls for the OE-600 of 1,500h, compared with 3,000h for a turboprop, but overhaul cost will be only $25,000, the company says.

Orenda is planning similar agreements to re-engine the de Havilland Beaver and agricultural aircraft, such as the Grumman Ag-Cat, which are powered by radial piston engines.

With a power range of 370-560kW and a 750kW variant planned, the Orenda Series could become the most powerful general-aviation piston-engine family available. The Canadian Company acquired the rights to the former Thunder aluminium-alloy Vee-8 engine from CanAm in 1994.

Source: Flight International