Czech manufacturer JMB Aircraft has flown a VL3 Evolution fitted with a turbine engine.
The flight took place in early April at Valenciennes, France, with the composite low-wing fitted with a TurboTech engine.
Jean-Marie Guisset, CEO of JMB Aircraft, conducted the first flight and returned to the airport full of praise for the aircraft.
“The first tests are very promising indeed," he said. "We are continuing the tests to validate the performance, but the advantages are already visible: no vibration, quieter than the VL3-915, higher reliability and a TBO multiplied by two.
"Moreover, VL3 turbine is easier to fly than a traditional piston aircraft thanks to the electronic management of the FADEC and its unique [power] lever.
"We also noticed a major consumption gain in comparison to the traditional turbo-props, thanks to the heat exchanger. Kerosene price is also a good advantage compared to the fuel normally used.”
JMB has been working on the project for six months and at the time of writing, more than 50 hours of ground testing had been completed, including 30 hours of full-power testing.
JMB is keeping quiet about the performance of the turbine VL3, but the aircraft is expected to be at AERO Friedrichshafen 27-30 April.
The turbine becomes the fourth engine option for the VL3 airframe, with Rotax 912, 914 and 915 versions already on the market.