One of the things that we truly appreciate at Covington Aircraft is the engineering innovations that go into aircraft designs. The PT6 engine is an ideal example of such a feat of design, since it has maintained its initial structure and mechanisms, but has also allowed for retrofitting older engines to perform with greater stability and efficiency. This has allowed for pilots to vastly extend their range of flight, and it has also allowed for flight in more diverse environmental conditions.
The Original Workhorse
The development of the PT6 engine came at a time when military focus was on fighter airplanes that would be able to handle greater speed and power without the weight of a larger radial engine. As a result, the PT6 turbine was designed to accommodate several power levels, based on the demands of the flight plan. The scalability of the engine was a new concept, as prior to this point a complete overhaul and replacement was needed for these types of changes.
Along with the ability to modify power within the turbine, the PT6 engine also provided a new type of maintenance protocol. As a two part engine, the PT6 allowed technicians to operate on the turbine while it was still attached to the aircraft. This eliminated much of the time that was required to service the current radial engines, and also provided the means for a quick turn around on MRO tasks.
While the PT6 is still used extensively in military fleets, it is also highly popular with private pilots and owners of small commercial fleets. This is due to a combination of
- The versatility of the engine for different flight plans
- The lightness of the turbine for smaller craft
- Stronger power regulation throughout the flight
- Better fuel efficiency
- The ability to withstand environmental conditions, such as sand, without engine failure
All of these points relate back to both the initial excellence of the engine design as well as the changes that have streamlined function over the years.
Currently, pilots and aircraft owners are able to find a number of PT6 models that can suit nearly any need. This can offer a scope of power from 500 to 2000 shp, depending on the model of PT6 that is required. Along with the ability to carry a greater load with less fuel expenditure and interchangeable reduction gearboxes, this turbine has become a versatile favorite within the aircraft industry. The lasting power of the PT6 comes as a result of astute engineering, which also provides flexibility in function.