Wayne Handley and the Turbo Raven
Oracle Turbo Raven and Wayne Handley http://www.waynehandley.com
When former ag-pilot and world class airshow performer Wayne Handley had a dream to build an aerobatic airplane with a positive thrust to weight ratio, he needed two things; a sponsor who believed in his vision and an aeronautical engineering company with the ability to make his propulsion vision a reality. The sponsor came in the form of Oracle and for the ingenious propulsion installation he approached Kawak Aviation Technologies.
Not only was it an honor for Kawak to be selected for this project, but it represented a significant design challenge. Wayne had decided to use a 750 horsepower Pratt and Whitney PT6A-25C engine in the Oracle Turbo Raven. The -25C is in essence a -34 with an inverted oil system. This was the first PT6 installation that Kawak had attempted and required extensive research to achieve the required level of knowledge, detail and perfection.
The Oracle Turbo Raven performed exceptionally in it’s initial flight tests. It’s positive thrust to weight ratio essentially gave it anti-gravity capabilities that only the most sophisticated military aircraft possess. Wayne and his Turbo Raven went on to wow air show audiences and set new world records. Most notably the ‘time to climb’ record for a propeller-driven aircraft set in 1985 by Chuck Yeager. The Oracle Turbo Raven ultimately shaved 40 seconds off of Yeager’s record and came 23 seconds under the all-time record for a propeller driven aircraft both civil and military – achieving a climb rate of 10,000fpm. A remarkable accomplishment for all those involved in the creation of this special airplane.
The success of the Oracle Turbo Raven is an example of the kind of ingenuity that Wayne Handley was looking for and Kawak possessed and continues to contribute toward special applications within the aviation industry.