United Technologies’ PT6A-140 Series Gets Higher Cycle Limits Approval

United Technologies Corporation’s (UTX – Free Report) business subsidiary, Pratt & Whitney Canada, recently secured an approval from Transport Canada to augment cycle limits on its premium PT6A-140, -140A and -140AG engines. This approval to increase cycle limits will aid it in extending the life of Low Cycle Fatigue (LCF) parts like compressor, power turbine disks and impeller.

“We are committed to exploring and developing innovative solutions that keep our customers flying longer and at reduced operating and maintenance costs,” said Nicholas Kanellias, vice-president, general aviation at Pratt & Whitney Canada. “For the vast majority of PT6A-140 series operators, these extensions will push the requirement to replace LCF parts further into the future.”

An engine cycle is counted every time an engine is started, flown and then shutdown. An abbreviated cycle is counted when an engine remains running between flights. The cycle limits for the PT6A-140-series engines have now been increased by up to 60 percent for the following parts: from 12,000 cycles to 16,000 cycles for the power turbine disk; from 10,000 cycles to 16,000 cycles for the compressor turbine disk; and from 19,000 cycles to 29,000 cycles for the impeller. Also as it pertains to the power turbine disk, the number of abbreviated cycles needed to count as a full cycle has increased from two to five.

For #NAAA2015, @AirTractorInc has the #502XP sporting a cool cutaway see-through engine cowling for a peek at the PT6A-140AG.

“These numbers tell a compelling story for the maintenance costs of the PT6A-140 engine series,” said Kanellias. “For PT6A-140-series operators who start their engines often, these changes mean our customers will have ample time on wing to reach their second overhaul at 8,000 hours. Operators performing fewer engine starts will see their cycle impacts extended beyond the third overhaul at 12,000 hours. So while operators must always count their engine cycles, the associated maintenance–and related cost–are reduced.

“The cycle limits on the PT6A engine do not dictate the timing of an overhaul, only the need to replace a specific part,” explained Kanellias. “So today’s initiative increases operator value by taking an engine with enhanced attributes and elevating it to yet another level of performance and durability. It’s another reason that operators who want unmatched performance and reliability see the PT6A family as the engine of choice.”

Pratt & Whitney customers can benefit from flexible and tailored solutions focused on driving greater availability and lowering maintenance costs. Solutions such as FAST (Full-Flight, Acquisition, Storage and Transmission) and Oil Analysis Technology program provide proactive, predictive and preventive engine health management, which also enables customers to optimize their operations and reduce operation costs.

The PT6A-140 Powered Cessna Grand Caravan EX. The Grand Caravan EX was engineered for challenging missions, high payloads and short, rough runways while delivering single-engine economy and simplicity. Photo from @aeroportocruzeirodosul

Inside the Headlines

Pratt & Whitney is a renowned designer and manufacturer of helicopter as well as aircraft auxiliary power units, and engines. This premium business arm of United Technologies persistently tries to develop innovative solutions that aid in lowering customers’ maintenance and operating costs. The aforementioned approval will significantly aid Pratt & Whitney in lowering LCF parts’ replacement requirements, and hence be highly cost effective to its users going forward.

On account of the approval, cycle limits of PT6A-140-series engines have been boosted to 60%. This includes an increment of 4000 cycles for power turbine disk, 6000 cycles for compressor turbine disk and 10000 cycles for the impeller.

The company noted that the existing cycle limits on its PT6A engines will not control the timing of an overhaul but will definitely indicate the need to repair or replace a particular part.  Hence, an augmentation in cycle limits will certainly improve the durability and performance efficiency of Pratt & Whitney’s PT6A engines.

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