Stevens Aviation plans to begin the last phase of flight tests of a Raytheon KingAir C90, re-engined with Orenda liquid-cooled V8 piston engines "within the next couple of weeks".

The delayed flight test effort involves two C90s. It should lead to a US Federal Aviation Administration supplemental type certificate (STC) approval by the end of the year, says maintenance, repair, modification and refurbishment specialist Stevens. It admits that sales enquiries into the conversion programme are slow, but anticipates rising interest with the STC. "It's a chicken and egg situation," adds Greensville, South Carolina-based Stevens, which is conducting the final flight phase in Mojave, California.

Stevens, a Magellan Aerospace subsidiary, has been appointed by Orenda Recip as the exclusive installation and modification centre for the C90 programme. Regulatory delays forced it to postpone deliveries by up to three months to late this year. Stevens predicts an overall market of between 50 and 100 450kW (600hp) engine modifications.

Source: Flight International