Powering into the future

New powerplants deliver remarkable benefits

October 1, 2011

'AOPA Pilot' Editor in Chief Tom Haines Relative to older style engines, modern turbofan engines sound almost too good to be true: Higher and faster on less fuel, lower emissions, and less noise, lower weight, and longer TBO. In this case, the old adage about too good to be true doesn’t hold up. As evidenced by the Nextant upgrades to the venerable Beechjet, the Williams engines outperform the older Pratts by a considerable margin. As we report in “ The NeXT Beechjet ,” the massive upgrade package is more than just an engine swap. All complete, it makes the Beechjet competitive in the modern light jet category while returning considerable value to the owner.

The GE Honda engines on the new HondaJet offer a similar boost in performance over conventionally powered airplanes. With fuel burns up to 20 percent less than similarly sized airplanes, the first offering from Honda promises to be competitive right out of the box. Our update on the single-pilot HondaJet (“ Routes Less Traveled ”) highlights the technology and aerodynamics that have an entire industry watching what’s happening in Greensboro, North Carolina.

October 2011
Turbine Pilot Contents

Still, if light jet is just too light for you, read about what it’s like for an average GA pilot to get some stick time in the mammoth Airbus A380 (“ Flying the Jumbo, Jumbo ”). In our report, writer Rob Mark shares some of the curiosities of the jumbo of all jumbos.

Getting to that point on approach? We have that covered too. Check out our story on the Honeywell system (“ Honeywell’s SmartView Moves Ahead ”) that overlays enhanced infrared images over synthetic vision images to give a real-world view of those final few minutes of a flight in low IMC. The imagery is stunning and remarkably helpful.

If you have recently made the transition from pistons to turbines or like to think such a transition might be in your future, read on. These special edition pages are for you.

Only a small subset of the AOPA membership gets this special Turbine Edition—those whom we believe have an interest in reading about higher-end aircraft. In this monthly special edition you get all of the content in the standard editions, plus these extra pages. If you would rather not receive this edition, just let us know at: memberservices@aopa.org. We’re happy to switch you back to the standard edition.

I hope you learn some new advanced flying techniques and a little about turbine operations in these pages. Let us know what you think at pilot@aopa.org. —Tom Haines, Editor in Chief

Thomas B. Haines

Thomas B Haines | Editor in Chief, AOPA

AOPA Editor in Chief Tom Haines joined AOPA in 1988. He owns and flies a Beechcraft A36 Bonanza. Since soloing at 16 and earning a private pilot certificate at 17, he has flown more than 100 models of general aviation airplanes.