Anyone who is involved with Aviation, either as their vocation or avocation, knows that the plight of Aviation Manufactures, either of complete aircraft or various “parts,” is not always “smooth sailing.” This is, perhaps, never better reflected than by tracing the development of the ALLISON GAS TURBINE ENGINE.
It all started with James Allison. In 1917 Allison volunteered to turn a portion of his company’s production output to help supply military hardware. For the next four decades the company competed in the military realm in both Britain and the U.S. In 1940, ALLISON sort of “snuck in through the back door” as, while they were not awarded a contract directly, they sub-contracted with GENERAL ELECTRIC to work on jet engines. In the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, ALLISON teamed with ROLLS ROYCE, creating the TF41. The now “joint-journey” continued to be tumultuous, but the end result was an excellent gas turbine engine.
“When it comes to THE ALLISON GAS TURBINE ENGINE AND TURBINE TRAINING CENTER “ Jason Wolcott, Vice President of TURBINE TRAINING CENTERin Manhattan, Kansas, offered “the best way to evaluate the true value of the Allison Gas Turbine Engine is, perhaps, to take a specific craft and see how the engine improved it.”
For his example, Wolcott chose The Silver Eagle. Starting with a Cessna 210 (pressurized) airframe, modifications include installing a Rolls Royce (Allison) 250-B17F/2 gas turbine engine, which is, of course our major area of concern here.
“The modifications implemented,” Dale Wolcott, TURBINE TRAINING CENTER’s President, shared, “provided more than just a little performance boost.”
Performance improvements include, but are not limited to:
- Cut “take off distance” in half.
- “Landing Roll” was cut to only 500 feet.
- Climb to “Cruise Altitude” accomplished in ten minutes or less!!
- Engine weight differential means an immediate increase of payload of over 140 pounds.
- “Quiet” to the point that it meets Alpine Country noise restrictions - - and is one of the few high performance aircraft to do so.
- “Range” increased by nearly 300 NM.
While discussing The Silver Eagle is one important aspect of THE ALLISON GAS TURBINE ENGINE AND TURBINE TRAINING CENTERS to consider, the real key is that when it comes to either initial or recurrent training, knowing as much about the engine you will be training on and/or flying is an excellent way to begin your training. Understanding both its capabilities and limitations is an important aspect of turbo engine training.