Will a TurbAero turboprop fit into my aircraft?
The short answer is – yes, it most likely will. There are both fixed-wing and rotary-wing applications for our engine.
If you've got something like an 0-320 or an 0-360 type engine in your aircraft, then it's highly likely that our engine will be able to go into your aircraft.
However, there are some considerations it would be worth noting. Weight and balance is one of those. Our engine is going to weigh a little bit less than an 0-320 and a fair bit less than an 0-360. These changes in weight will need to be taken into consideration.
Also, the fuel system is another consideration. When pilots change tanks in a piston engine, the engine may splutter and pick up. In a turbine engine, it's imperative that the flame keeps burning in the combustor. Unlike a piston engine where a spark plug ignites it on every rotation, a turbine is constantly burning. If there's any fuel flow interruption to the combustor, the flame goes out, the engine stops, and you will have to do a re-light on the engine.
But with that said, at TurbAero we are in discussions with companies to develop engine installation packages, which will incorporate all the considerations that are necessary to install this engine into existing airframes.
One of the benefits of our engine is that it can be used in either Tractor or Pusher configuration. We've designed it as such, so that, it can be used in any orientation. From that perspective, it can be used in pretty much any airframe that currently utilizes an 0-320, 0-360 or similar engine.
Examples of airframes the TurbAero Talon will fit into
The RV series of aircraft is going to be a very popular one for our engine. In particular, the tandem models such as the RV-4 and the RV-8 are going to appreciate the narrow width of our engine. It'll fit in very nicely into the narrow fuselage of those aircraft.
Other popular aircraft are the Lancairs, such as the Lancair 320, Lancair 360, into which our engine will fit. Other legacy aircraft, such as the Glasair, will also benefit from a conversion to a turboprop engine.
We have also had a lot of inquiry from potential customers asking whether our engine will fit into the more modern designs including the (in development) DarkAero. We're finding that's very popular amongst our future customer base. And the answer is yes, our engine is going to be perfect for that aircraft. The Talon engine will allow further streamlining to that cowling - even more than it is now – and of course will offer better performance for that airframe, than would be achieved with a piston engine in it. Because it can be used in pusher configuration, it's also going to be ideal for airframes such as the Velocity, and some of the EZ airframes.
The low and slow or STOL aircraft will also find it very popular. People who own a Cub Crafter, American Legend or Patriot Aircraft have also reached out to see if our engine will suit their aircraft and, of course, the answer is, yes it will! Those types will see the benefits of the lighter weight.
The other sector, where our engine has proven to be very popular is with the helicopters. The likes of, Safari, Mosquito Swift, Rotorway, and Helicycle, would benefit significantly from the reduced weight of our engine over the IO-360.
We should also mention the airframes we will be using as a test bed for our engine, the Arion Lightning and our "RV7T" (T for turbine). We have acquired a partially built RV-7A to which we will complete the build and then convert it to a turboprop. We are documenting this journey on YouTube in our 'Build an RV7T with me' series.
As well as experimental aircraft, we're also intending to undertake certification of our engine in due course, to allow it to go into certificated aircraft. We're getting a lot of inquiries about our engine from owners of aircraft such as Mooney (because we all know that Mooney owners are very keen on speed and efficiency) and Cessna and Piper owners, etc.
The certification process itself is going to take time – we’re estimating a few years. For certificated aircraft, there will also be a requirement for a supplementary type certificate (STC) to be developed, to allow the incorporation of our engine into the airframe. The good news is that we have had a lot of inquiries from companies or individuals that are wanting to develop STCs for the more popular airframes. So, for the Piper 140, Piper 180, Archers, Cessna 172s, that use the IO-360s - there's a great deal of interest to develop STCs for those legacy fleets.
Of course, we'll be working with the airframe manufacturers, to get our engine, into new aircraft too. So, hopefully down track, a new Mooney, a new Cessna, a new Piper, a new Cirrus, may all see our engine installed in it.
Don’t see your aircraft listed?
Fear not! This list isn’t exhaustive. It’s very likely whatever aircraft you’ve got, we will have an engine solution for your project! Drop our team a line using the button below to ask any further questions your might have.
Already decided a TurbAero turboprop is for you?
The great news is, we are currently manufacturing parts for the prototype. If you want to order an engine when we open the order book, register your no-obligation, no-cost interest to order an engine via our registration of interest form in the link below!
We’ve made a video on this topic too. Check it out below or on our YouTube channel.
Compatible Airframes - Will Our Engine Fit Your Project?
If you enjoyed this article, you might like to check out the 4 stages of developing a turboprop engine, the 5 main things to consider when converting your aircraft to a turboprop or considering transitioning your aircraft to a turboprop?