TPE331 Powers National Skydive Center’s Ultimate Jump Ship

National Skydive Center found that the original PT6 engine in its Cessna Grand Caravan 208 lacked horsepower for climbing performance and ran a little bit too hot. The center decided to upgrade to the Honeywell TPE331-12JR engine from Texas Turbine Conversions, Inc.

“The original Honeywell engine was 1,100 horsepower but it’s de-rated for the Supervan 900TM back to 900 horsepower. When we climb, we’re only using 80 percent of its capacity which means less engine wear,” said chief pilot, Bryan Meijers.

“TBO has also improved. With the Honeywell engine, it’s 5,000 hours for our type of operation which is a big improvement on the original PT6 which was only 3,600 hours.

“Another benefit is that it has a torque and temperature limiter which means it’s impossible to over-torque or overheat it. Also, the inflight noise level of the TPE331 is much lower than with the PT6.”


The center has seen a 20 percent reduction in fuel consumption combined with 30 percent more lift capacity. This keeps costs down and enables the center to offer €20 jump tickets. That is the lowest in Europe and attracts many jumpers for across Holland and Germany.

National Skydive Center recently bought its third Supervan 900. The aircraft was the 100th TPE331 conversion for Texas Turbines.

“Texas Turbines’ conversion to the Honeywell TPE331 engine has made the Supervan 900 the most efficient jump ship available,” concluded Meijers. “It’s very reliable, easy to fly and its engine is very efficient.”