The PT6A family is a series of free turbine turboprop engine providing 500 to 1,940 SHP.
The success of the PC-6 Porter is built around its STOL capabilities. This feature makes it very sought-after for missions such as international relief, firefighting, medevac, parachuting, search and rescue, and even sightseeing.
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High-tech sensors and systems may not be the only way to monitor engine health. Pratt & Whitney Canada has embarked on a project called Oil Analysis Technology, applying it first to the PT6A engine. But Program Manager Frederique Richard says the approach may have much wider applications.
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The view from the Quest Kodiak’s cockpit seems odd and mildly unnerving, although it’s precisely the kind of situation the rugged short-takeoff-and-landing airplane is built for.
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THE PT6 ENGINE MILESTONES
It’s the remarkable story of a remarkable engine. With more than 51,000 engines delivered to power some 130 different applications, the PT6 engine can tell quite a story of creativity and transformation. While we had a lot to choose from, we’ve put together a list of milestones for the engine as we mark its golden anniversary.
1957 – P&WC assembled a team of 12 talented young engineers after studies showed a market opportunity for 500 shp (shaft horsepower) class turboprop engines in the aircraft market then powered by piston engines. P&WC saw an opportunity to channel some of the profits from its piston engine spare parts business towards the development of gas turbine engines smaller than those made by its U.S. parent.
1963 – It’s what our celebration is all about. In December 1963, P&WC shipped the first PT6 production engine, the PT6A-6, to Beech Aircraft Company for its Beech 87, which later became the King Air. The PT6A-6 was a highly innovative gas turbine that represented a significant advance in technology from the traditional piston-driven engines used to power small aircraft. Gas turbines have a higher power to weight ratio than piston engines.
1967 – Piper’s PA-31 Navajo took its first flight powered by PT6A-20s. Piper had enjoyed enormous success building light aircraft since the 1930s, but it took P&WC years of effort to get Piper to adopt turbine engines and move away from their traditional reliance on piston-driven engines.
1968 – P&WC’s ST6L73 engine (a derivative of the PT6A without the gearbox second stage) entered into service as an auxiliary power unit (APU) for the Lockheed L1011 airliner.
1968 – Bell Helicopter placed its initial order for P&WC’s first turboshaft, the PT6T Twin-Pac® engine
1970 – P&WC’s PT6T Twin Pac® entered into service. It is two engines coupled in a single package to power medium-sized, twin-engine helicopters.
1970 – The United States Military ordered 294 Bell 212s under the designation UH-1N equipped with PT6T Twin-Pac® turboshaft engines. Delivery also began in 1970.
1973 – The second-stage power turbine was introduced on the PT6A-41. This was a step change in engine power and efficiency.
1979 – An Air Tractor agricultural aircraft is powered by a PT6A engine and flies to the National Agricultural Aviation Association convention in Las Vegas – the first time such a combination was displayed in public.
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Turbine Conversions, Ltd. and Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) have signed a long-term contract for the sale of PT6A-21 engines to power the recently announced Cessna 206 turbine conversion. P&WC is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp.
Turbine Conversions has been converting aircraft using P&WC engines since 1990, but company president Bill Hatfield first encountered the PT6 engine when he installed a PT6A-34AG engine in his Grumman Ag Cat in 1975.
Bill Hatfield, of Turbine Conversions, one of Covington’s customers, continues to operate the #3 produced Turbo Cat he installed himself in 1978. The first Turbo Cat conversion to be produced in 20 years was installed on a PT6A-15AG during the summer of 2011 at the Covington Aircraft facility in Oklahoma.
“I still fly my Grumman Ag Cat, and that PT6A-34AG engine continues to serve me well after more than 40 years,” said Hatfield, one of the most respected and well-known pioneers of the agricultural industry. “The relationships I have built with P&WC employees over the years have likewise endured and helped empower our business and those of our own clients. We are delighted to have struck yet another arrangement with P&WC to power our Cessna 206 conversion.”
“Turbine Conversions has consistently demonstrated its understanding of the factors that drive successful conversion programs,” said Denis Parisien, vice-president, General Aviation, P&WC. “With the 206 turbine conversion program, our PT6A-21 engines will replace piston engines so operators of the converted aircraft will benefit from a considerable increase in power, better hot and high performance and a TBO [time between overhaul] of 3,600 hours. Combined with that is our OEM [original equipment manufacturer] warranty and a global customer support network that is second to none.”
The PT6A engine boasts powerful performance and unmatched versatility. PT6 technology has powered 125 different applications since its introduction. More than 46,000 PT6 engines have been manufactured, with 23,000 now in service. The engine has logged more than 375 million flight hours.
“Anyone can say they’re the best; we have the numbers to prove it,” said Parisien. “It’s more than an engine. The PT6A engine offers the best of both worlds: Its proven technology is built upon a remarkable body of engineering achievement that has written new chapters in aviation history in collaboration with our customers, and it’s also this technology that continues to make new aircraft applications possible. We’re already moving on to the next innovation.”
The PT6A engine’s flexible architecture and modular reverse-flow design simplify installation in both single- and twin-engine installations as well as tractor and pusher propeller configurations. Simple on-wing maintenance is possible for most tasks, whereas other engines might need a shop visit.
H/T Skies Magazine.
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Viking Air celebrated the production of its 100th Series 400 Twin Otter in Calgary this past summer, and is showing the aircraft, replete with seaplane floats and executive interior, on the NBAA 2016 static line.
Viking showed the prototype Series 400 here in Orlando in 2008. “It’s been a long tradition,” Viking Air president and CEO David Curtis told ShowNews. “We like to put it in front of all those white jets and show off something different.”
The 100th, s.n. 944, is operated as a factory demonstrator by Viking’s sister company, Victoria, B.C.-based Pacific Sky Aviation. Pacific Sky also provides Twin Otter training, in support of which it’s installed a new Level D simulator, also in Calgary. The new unit by-owned TRU Simulation + Training (Montreal) is the first in the world to feature a seaplane configuration, Viking says.
Viking holds the type certificates for all out-of-production de Havilland Canada aircraft, from the DHC-1 Chipmunk through the DHC-7 Dash-7 50-passenger STOL regional airliner. The Twin Otter was introduced as the DHC-6 in 1965.
Viking acquired the de Havilland type certificates in February 2006. The decision to launch the Series 400, the company says, “was made after a market study, supported by the worldwide Twin Otter operator group, revealed a strong demand for the new platform to replace the aging legacy fleet.” The Series 400 was formally launched in March 2007, and the first production aircraft flew in February 2010.issued the Series 400 type certificate that June. Aircraft have since been delivered in nearly 30 countries.
“The Series 400 is an all-new airplane,” says Curtis. Viking collaborator (and competitor) Ikhana, he notes, continues to convert legacy Twin Otters. Ikhana provides service and support for Viking-built aircraft too, and in fact did the VIP interior for the aircraft on display here today.
Viking’s Series 400 Twin Otter is available with standard landing gear, straight or amphibious floats, skis, wheel skis, or IFG/intermediate flotation gear – with multiple quick-change interior configurations available. “The Series 400 Twin Otter is a versatile aircraft that can be utilized for multiple roles, such as regional commuter, environmental monitoring, parachute operations, cargo and infrastructure support, corporate shuttle, and personal use,” the company says.
“We build a new Twin Otter every 15 days,” Curtis notes, adding that the current backlog is about 15 months. He says the number flying passengers is difficult to pinpoint, as interiors can be readily changed to suit the mission – an attraction for numerous customers.
“When I take a moment to reflect on the Series 400 program from the original launch to completion of our 100th aircraft, and all the challenges we have overcome in between, I am truly amazed at what the Viking team has accomplished,” Curtis said this past summer. “While there was doubt that a relatively unknown aerospace manufacturing company on the west coast of Canada would be up to the task, here we are, 100 production aircraft later.”
The $6.9 million Series 400 Twin Otter is powered by upgraded Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-34 engines, and features a fully integratedPrimus Apex digital avionics suite. Viking has fitted its modernized Twin Otter with internal and external LED lighting, “and approximately 800 other modifications incorporated to improve upon the original production model.”
Viking is now offering a “Phase II” avionics upgrade including Honeywell digital autopilot, TCAS II, and ADS/B capabilities.
And, for operators flying shorter VFR missions, Viking is promoting 400S (with floats) and 400L (with wheels) aircraft, priced at $5.995 million with PT6A-27 engines. They are about 400 pounds lighter than the standard Series 400 Twin Otter. Bleed air heating and cooling is absent, and there is a more modest avionics package.
“They don’t need a full suite in what to them is a pick-up truck,” Curtis says.
H/T Aviation Week.
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New Powerplants Raise the Bar for Performance and Efficiency
ORLANDO, FLORIDA–(Marketwired – Oct. 31, 2016) –
Editors Note: There is a photo associated with this release.
With its new PT6A-140A turboprop engine and PT6A-140AG variant, Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) is a generation ahead of the rest. Setting new standards for performance, fuel efficiency and reliability, the PT6A-140 series is already firmly established as the powerplant of choice worldwide for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and converters in the utility and agricultural (ag) aviation segments. The series’ rapid success has enhanced the company’s standing as an established leader in the general aviation industry. P&WC is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX).
From Nick Bunger who shared his photo with us. Thank you to all those great #AgPilots who work hard to support their families. #aviationphotography #aviationphoto #aviation #aviationlovers #aviationgeek #aviationdaily #AvNerd #AvGeek #AviationNerd #AviationGeek #PlaneSpotting #PlaneSpotter #aircraftmaintenance #aviationlove #aircraftenginemaintenance #instagramaviation #IGAviation #IGAircraft #avlove #pilot #privatepilot #pt6 #Pt6nation #pt6a #aircraft #planes
“The general aviation segment is key to our business,” says Nick Kanellias, Vice President, Marketing, responsible for General Aviation Programs. “We have continued to innovate and enhance our products and services to ensure that we offer powerful engines, cutting-edge features and unmatched versatility, backed by a proactive, seamless service and support network that puts customers at the heart of everything we do. For operators who want to propel not just their aircraft but also their business, our engines are the choice that makes sense.”
Over 350 PT6A-140 series engines have been produced to date, testifying to their popularity and remarkable record when it comes to performance and operating economics. That includes 15 percent more power and 5 percent better specific fuel consumption. With more than 230,000 flying hours accumulated and a perfect record of reliability, the series is the new benchmark in its class.
Since the PT6A-140AG was originally certified in 2012 to power the Cessna Grand Caravan EX, both of the ag aviation industry’s leading OEMs, Air Tractor and Thrush, have selected the engine for their 500-gallon aircraft. Certified by the Federal Aviation Administration in March, the Air Tractor 502XP agricultural spray plane is already helping to protect crops across the United States. A new version of Thrush’s 510P aircraft, whose certification is expected in 2017, will also be powered by the engine.
What’s more, PT6A-140 series engines have been selected by Blackhawk Modifications Inc., StandardAero and Aircraft Structures International Corp. (ASIC) for their Cessna Caravan conversion and upgrade programs.
Optimized for “hot and high” environments, the PT6A-140A and -140AG engines offer full-load takeoff at maximum power available at 111º F (44º C), effectively helping operators to increase their productivity. The PT6A-140AG engine has 867 mechanical shaft horsepower (SHP) and 1,075 thermal SHP. With no mandatory time requirements for warm-up or cool-down, the engine enables operators to maximize their productivity and efficiency.
The PT6A-140AG is also the easiest engine in the ag segment to access and maintain, thanks to its modular design and externally mounted fuel nozzles. The time between overhauls (TBO) can be extended up to 8,000 hours or 12 years, depending on the operation, and is independent of engine cycles. Simple routine engine inspections can be done while still on-wing, in the field or in the hangar. More time on-wing and a predictable and planned maintenance environment can result in more revenue for operators.
Designed and built to outlast others in the same class, the PT6A-140AG has a minimum component life limit which is 50 percent higher than competing engines. That means it will continue to be a productive asset for any operator long after similar engines have been sent in for overhaul.
With more than 10,000 engines already enrolled in its pay-per-hour maintenance plans, P&WC is once again raising the bar with the introduction of a leading-edge Eagle Service Plan™ (ESP®) maintenance program tailored to PT6A customers, as well as a major enhancement to its current ESP plan offering. Each maintenance plan optimizes aircraft availability and performance while protecting and enhancing the value of the aircraft investment. Details can be found here: http://www.pwc.ca/en/service-support/especially-for-your-pt6.
P&WC helped build the general aviation industry with the original PT6A turboprop engine more than five decades ago. It has continued to raise the bar since then; as a result, the PT6A family remains the world’s most popular turboprop family today. Including the -140A and -140AG, there are more than 70 PT6A engine models powering over 125 different aircraft applications around the world.
P&WC will be at NBAA BACE 2016 at booth #3239. Interested operators are invited to drop by the booth to speak with a marketing or customer service representative.
Note to editors
For more information, visit our media page at www.pwc.ca/nbaa-media.
About Pratt & Whitney Canada
Founded in 1928, P&WC is a global leader in aerospace that is shaping the future of aviation with dependable, high-technology engines. Based in Longueuil, Quebec (Canada), P&WC is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. United Technologies Corp., based in Farmington, Connecticut, provides high-technology systems and services to the global aerospace and building systems industries.
This press release contains forward-looking statements concerning future business opportunities. Actual results may differ materially from those projected as a result of certain risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to changes in levels of demand in the aerospace industry, in levels of air travel, and in the number of aircraft to be built; challenges in the design, development, production support, performance and realization of the anticipated benefits of advanced technologies; as well as other risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to those detailed from time to time in United Technologies Corp.’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings.
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The Pratt & Whitney PT6 engine has been in use since 1961 and has since logged more than 380 million flight hours, the equivalent of about 250,000 round-trips to the moon. The most advanced PT6A engine family includes three power levels, “Small”, “Medium”, and “Large” that all have the advantage of turbine cooling, aerodynamic design, and advanced technologies in materials. Keeping these engines running efficiently and safely wouldn’t be possible without a periodic Hot Section Inspection.