Any aircraft is only as good as its engine, and in the aviation field the PT6A stands out as one of the most popular and most respected engines in history. There are plenty of reasons for this, and taking a closer look at them as well as at the overall history of the PT6A is well worth doing – especially if you’re one of the many who already use the PT6A on your aircraft or are thinking of purchasing one.
The PT6A is the main variant of the basic PT6. Manufactured by Pratt and Whitney, the PT6 is a turboprop style aircraft engine that was first released in Canada in 1961. Today, it’s spread throughout the country and is used in a wide range of planes. Even the US military uses these engines, though they change the name.
The most common aircraft applications for a PT6 engine include the following:
• Twin Otter
• Sikorsky S-76
• Beechcraft Super King Air
• Sikorsky S-76
However, plenty of other aircraft that utilize a turboprop style engine can be fitted with these stellar engines and enjoy the benefits that they offer. Those benefits include heavy reliability, and there are more than 9000 hours logged on some models of the PT6. It also delivers excellent performance, and finding models that deliver between 580 and 920 shaft horsepower is easy to do, ensuring that any aircraft gets the kind of power it needs.
The PT6 engine was designed as a replacement to the piston engines that had long been used. While piston engines are still used today, turboprops like the PT6 deliver higher power to weight ratios. The unique design of this engine means that the power turbine and free turbine are separate, connected instead with a torque converter. The engine has also become famous for its easy to start nature, thanks to the fact that the igniter fires the gas generator – they’re even easy to start in low temps.
Today, more than 36,000 PT6A engines have been delivered throughout the world, making it one of the most widely used and most relied on engines in the aviation field. And with good reason – few other options can match the kind of performance and durability that this engine offers. If you’re looking for a new engine or need help working on your PT6A, we here at Covington Aircraft can help. Contact us today to find out more about what we can do for you.