A HUNGARIAN company called G92 Commerce is planning to fly a re-engine turboprop version of the Dornier 28 D-2 Skyservant utility aircraft by the end of this month.

The aircraft will be powered by Walter M601Z turboprops, which are built by Czech manufacturer Motorlet, instead of the standard Lycoming IGSO-540-A1E piston engines.

According to Andras Gal, president of the Budapest-based Company, the new power plant gives the aircraft substantially improved short-take-off-and-landing and hot-and-high performance.

The de-rated Czech engines will offer about 300kW (400hp) of maximum take-off and continuous permissible power, compared with the Lycoming engine's 285kW maximum take-off power, and about 255kW continuous permissible power, says Gal.

He adds that the Czech engines are significantly quieter than the earlier powerplants, and will have Avia V508 propellers with a larger diameter than the earlier Hartzell props.

The M601s are equivalent to Pratt & Whitney Canada PT-6A turboprops. About 50 of the type were built with this power plant in the early 1980s, says Gal, but the PT-6 is more expensive than the Czech engine.

Gal believes that there are up to 170 Lycoming-powered Dornier 28s in service, which could be eligible for upgrade. These are largely aircraft retired from the German air force and navy, which have used up about only 15% of their operational life spans.

The first prototype is now being fitted with its new engines by the Slovak firm Aerotech in Bratislava in preparation for flight testing. The aircraft will be certificated to US Federal Aviation Regulations Part 23.

Source: Flight International