Duluth, MN (July 22, 2011) Kestrel Aircraft Company announced today the selection of the Honeywell TPE331-14GR engine to power their new all composite, single-engine turboprop airplane.
The Kestrel team went through a vigorous process to determine which engine would be best suited to power the current product in development. The Kestrel mission is to combine high cruise speed and long range, while carrying large payloads in and out of short runways, with particular attention to ease and cost of operation. The power and efficiency of the -14GR is ideally suited to this mission. The TPE331-14GR produces 1759 thermodynamic horsepower, but the Kestrel will flat rate the engine to approximately 1000 shaft horsepower, to allow for better high altitude, high temperature performance.
“Customers want lower maintenance costs, fewer lifecycle-limited parts and better fuel efficiency when they select an aircraft engine,” said Rob Wilson, president of Honeywell Aerospace’s Business and General Aviation business. “Honeywell’s TPE331 is uniquely situated to deliver these benefits and more, that will help make the Kestrel a success in the market.”
An equally important decision for Kestrel was not just the engine, but whether the company would make a good team member. Kestrel Chairman and CEO, Alan Klapmeier stated, “Making sure we had the right supplier to further progress on the design was pivotal. Honeywell’s commitment to the success of the Kestrel program makes them a real team member. We are happy to have their support, knowledge, and expertise on board. We look forward to providing our future customers an exciting aircraft.”
About Kestrel Aircraft
Kestrel Aircraft is a new airplane company led by general aviation entrepreneur, Alan Klapmeier. Based on the original work done by Farnborough Aircraft, the Kestrel airplane will be; six to eight seat, all composite, single-engine turboprop, boasting a broad performance envelope, and newest technologies available in personal and business aircraft. For additional information about Kestrel, please visit www.kestrel.aero
The Kestrel is an impressive aircraft, whether you’re flying 100 miles or across half the continent. Based on a proof-of-concept airplane that has been flying for several years, Kestrel Aircraft turns a new page in turboprop performance, utility and value. Kestrel’s design philosophy reflects just the type of fresh and meticulous thinking brought to the program by CEO Alan Klapmeier and his design and engineering teams.
The six to eight seat Kestrel will fit your mission–business or pleasure. With its broad performance envelope, pilots and passengers will enjoy an impressively short climb time to cruise altitude at maximum weight, enroute speeds comparable to similar-sized jets, and then the ability to slow comfortably to speeds that blend easily with others in the terminal area. This single-engine composite turboprop will consume less fuel and fly more efficiently than a jet, and will carry more payload, flying higher and faster than any production piston airplane, single or twin. Roomy yet compact, the Kestrel will fly into and out of smaller airports with shorter runways, while carrying more.
The turboprop Kestrel will also be an easy transition for pilots of turbine and piston aircraft. Since it’s not a jet, no type rating or FAA checkride is needed. And to pilots stepping up from high-performance piston airplanes, the Kestrel is designed to be accessible and easy to fly. Fact is, turbines are not more difficult to operate, and with proper training piston pilots will readily adapt to the relative simplicity of the Honeywell engine and new levels of performance and capability.
Structure – The pressurized and climate controlled Kestrel is constructed of advanced composite materials and proven components. Applying contemporary aerodynamic theory, its complex aerodynamic shapes are modern, clean and elegant. The Kestrel’s solid structure reflects an airplane engineered for uncompromising performance and safety – safety that’s apparent to the pilot, transparent to the passengers. Crafted at Kestrel’s headquarters in Brunswick, Maine, each carbon fiber fuselage is designed for versatility, convenience and comfort, with trailing link landing gear to smooth landings and improve operations on unimproved strips. And upon certification, flight into known icing will also be approved.
Engine – The Honeywell TPE331-14GR is a proven, reliable engine selected specially for the Kestrel to be efficient and easy to operate. In some installations, the TPE331-14GR produces up to 1,759 thermodynamic horsepower, but Kestrel will flat rate the engine to approximately 1,000 shaft horsepower for better high altitude, high temperature performance. This direct drive, single-spool turbine boasts low specific fuel consumption, a reduced overflight sound signature and a high TBO. With single-button auto start, a torque limiter, no need for an inertial separator and a better, quicker response to pilot inputs, the American-built Honeywell engine offers the performance pilots need while reducing pilot workload.
Avionics – On the Kestrel flight deck you will experience the convergence of technology and pilot. For maximum situational and conditional awareness, and for maximum safety, the flat panel integrated avionics suites in the Kestrel will be intuitive, capable and feature the best, latest technologies currently available in personal and business airplanes. The Kestrel pilot, at a glance, will be able to review engine and aircraft system information, airplane configuration, active weather and traffic information, environmental and pressurization settings, and approach charts and flight planning information. Kestrel will announce options for avionics packages closer to certification date.
Interior – Already larger than many of its competitors, our luxurious interior will be tailored in the finest quality, hand-selected materials. Compared to the proof of concept airplane, the cabin has been widened, lengthened and boasts an easily reconfigurable layout for almost any combination of passengers and cargo. A wider door opens to an interior which is now also brighter, with larger windows illuminating the cabin in natural light. A lavatory will be optional.