Orenda Rises Again

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A Midland, Texas, company has received FAA approval to take over the engine type certificate for the Orenda OE600A, a Canadian-developed, 600-hp V-8 based on a big-block Chevy engine. The granting of the type certificate transfer from the former Canadian owners allows Trace Engines to begin shipping engines, including the 10 finished mills it inherited in the takeover of the project. Two engines were shipped, ironically, to Canada last week and are expected to be flying by the end of the month. The Texas plant won’t likely build its first engine until September. "Because this is a start-up, we have the opportunity to do things right the first time," spokesman Craig Hoover told the Midland Reporter-Telegram. "We have an active research and development program. There are things we want to improve on the engines even before we begin production." The big recips are aimed at replacing far more expensive small turboprops on a variety of light and business aircraft. They were developed about 20 years ago in Canada, but despite gaining certification were not widely installed. Hoover said his company aims to change that and he expects a lot of foreign orders. There are 12 people working at Trace now, but plans are to increase that tenfold and incorporate a college training program into the factory.