STEVENS AVIATION has placed a $20 million launch order for 140 Orenda Aerospace Vee-8 piston aero engines, which it plans to retrofit to Raytheon Beech King Air C90 twin turboprops.

Stevens plans to re-engine the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-powered King Airs with the Orenda 600 piston engines to improve performance and reduce operating costs.

Mississauga, Ontario-based Orenda had previously granted Stevens exclusive North American rights to certificate the installation of its engines on the King Air C90. An aircraft is being modified for flight tests and the Canadian company plans to certificate the 450kW (600hp) Orenda 600, and begin deliveries to Stevens, later this year.

Orenda says that its turbo-charged engine produces significantly more power at altitude than that of a similarly rated turboprop, giving greater speed, faster climb and improved field performance. "The Orenda 600 will bring renewed value to the older fleet of King Airs. The cost to overhaul C90s will be much lower with this engine," says Stevens president Kurt Herwald.

Source: Flight International