Tag Archives: pratt & whitney

Pratt & Whitney PT6 Celebrates 50 Years Part 2

The 12 engineers who gathered in 1957 to build the first turbine engine for Pratt & Whitney, and who can be considered the brains behind the PT6, created an engine in two sections that are easily separated for maintenance.  The creation of these engineers led to aviation history.

First Flight

beechcraft The PT6 first flew on May 30, 1961 as the power for a Beech 18 aircraft in Ontario, Canada.  Full-scale production began in 1963, and in December of that year, Pratt & Whitney shipped the first PT6 to Beech Aircraft Company to power their Beech 87, an aircraft that later became the King Air.  Experts said that the PT6 was an innovative gas turbine representing significant advances in technology, with great advantages over traditional piston-driven engines.  Much of this benefit was due to the higher power to weight ratio the PT6 offered.

Piper Milestone

piper

In 1967, the Piper PA-31 Navajo first flew using a PT6 engine.  Despite enormous success building light aircraft engines since the 1930’s, Piper fought the adoption of turbine engines in their aircraft.  Instead, they preferred the more traditional piston-driven engines.  This marked an important milestone for Pratt & Whitney who had attempted to get Piper to switch to their turbine engines for many years.

Other Applications

 Although the Pratt & Whitney PT6 became the most popular engine for powering high-performance airplanes and helicopters, in its early days an industrial version known as the ST6 appeared in some interesting applications.  In 1966, the Thunderbird, a 10-meter boat owned by Jim Wynn, a racing-boat champion, used two ST6 engines.  It was one of only two boats out of 31 to complete the Sam Griffith Memorial Race on February 22, 1966, and although it came in first, it was denied official recognition as it was considered experimental.  The turbine engine powered Turbo Train was designed to provide passenger service between New York and Boston, and was supposed to be a centerpiece at Expo 67.  Unfortunately, it was not completed in time for the Expo, but by 1973, was regularly travelling at speeds of nearly 193 km in the Montreal-Toronto corridor.  In 1978, Andy Granatelli, President of STP, installed an ST6 in his custom-made Corvette after it was banned from use in the STP Indy cars by the USAC.

The PT6 not only has a long and colorful history as an aircraft engine, but in powering other types of vehicles as well.  Learn more about the PT6 and find out more about the aircraft maintenance services at Covington Aircraft by contacting them online or by phone today.

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Covington Aircraft: Internationally certified destination for Aircraft Engine Overhauls

Did you know that Covington Aircraft is internationally certified for maintenance, repair, and overhaul of PT6A turbine engines and R-985 and R1340 radial engines?

David Hamilton, aviation expert, is here for your needs and explains our global reach!

We’re excited about providing service to our customers here at home and worldwide in the Global Aircraft Community!

Covington Aircraft helps customers worldwide so no matter where you are, we can take care of you.  Whether your engine is being overhauled in our state-of-the-art Pratt &Whitney Canada approved facility, or we are coming to work at your location, Covington is your Global Aviation partner.

Call us from anywhere in the world or visit us on the web at covingtonaircraft.com

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TBO: Time Between Overhaul. Even the PT6A Needs Maintenance

Covington Aircraft has now been in business since 1979.  Over the last 30 plus years, we have seen some Agricultural Aircraft owners who were riskier than even the most daring stunt pilots. How so? Well, they try, much like those who push the oil change on their vehicle, to put off as long as possible the overhaul of their engine. We focus on what to look for and Time Between Overhaul in this post.

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The Ag industry often overlooks FAA Part 91/137 (Agricultural Operations) regarding recommendations for TBO, or Time Between Overhaul.  TBO is overhauling an engine at the manufacturers recommended times.  Often, Ag industry pilots are under the mistaken impression that PT6A engines don’t need these recommended overhauls, when this couldn’t be further from the truth.

SB 14503 (-67AG)

Pratt Service Bulletins governing TBO for this engine indicate that the first stage power turbine blades should be replaced at 12,000 hours, while second stage power turbine blades should be replaced at 5,000 hours.  Compressor Turbine Blades with certain part numbers must be replaced at 6,000 hours.  Main-line rotor bearings #1 and 4 as well as the first stage planet gear set’s sun gear should be replaced at 12,000 hours time.  Considering these low hours, it stands to reason that the PT6A will not fly forever if the recommendations are not followed.

PT6A-34AG SB 1303

pw-pt6aThe 5000 Hour Check, which involves removing the disc from the hot section, removing blades from the disc, cleaning and conducting non-destructive testing, is recommended for the first time at 5,000 hours and at 3,000 hour intervals after that.  This inspection also requires comparison of the actual length of the blade but they cannot be cracked.  Cracked turbine blades or those stretched beyond limits could be devastating to an aircraft.

These two simple recommendations indicate that PT6A engines do not last forever.  Failure to follow these recommendations could result in engine failure.  In addition, Pratt & Whitney places significant importance on maintenance recommendations when honoring warranty repairs.  Therefore, it is important that owners educate themselves on service bulletins and overhaul recommendations to avoid catastrophe.

If it has been too long of a TBO for you or you have general maintenance, sales, or overhaul questions, make sure you visit the Covington Aircraft website!  Happy Flying!

 

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Global Turbine & Radial Aircraft Engine Sales and Overhaul Company has long Local History

Find our more about Covington Aircraft at www.covingtonaircraft.com

It’s pretty cool to say you work for an aircraft company.  Hi everyone, I’m Aaron Abbott and I’m proud to say that I work for a company that has been around for almost 40 years.  When Covington Aircraft first started, it began working on the Pratt & Whitney R-985 and R-1340 radial engines as a way to take care of the air cargo industry.

Now, Covington Aircraft is one of the few OEM authorized MRO facilities in the world.  Still true to our beginnings we continue to overhaul and maintain the radial engines, but in the mid 90’s we added the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6a series engines to our list of capabilities.  This allows us the ability to take care of the corporate and agricultural markets in a more effective way.

Covington Aircraft is not just a company that specializes in the overhaul and maintenance of aircraft engines, but also sets an example for other companies with its tried and true dedication to being a company entrenched in integrity.  Our word is our bond.  It is our goal as a company to provide the customer with dependable service, at affordable prices, and it is our commitment to do this with exceptional service.

We’re among the world’s leading maintenance, repair, and overhaul facilities, specializing in the PT6A turbine and R-985 and R-1340 radial engines and accessories.  And we are proud to offer the fastest turnaround time and lowest prices in the business.

We also offer 24 hour worldwide aircraft on ground support.

Feel free to contact us today at covingtonaircraft.com

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The R-1340: The Pratt & Whitney Radial Engine that started it all

Covington Aircraft firmly believes in the history of aviation (you can’t get to where your going without knowing where you have been).  So, this week, we talk about the modern marvel that is 100 years old, R-1340 Engine, Pratt & Whitney’s first engine.

Mr. Willgoos and Mr. Mead innovate a Modern Marvel

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In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge had his inaugural address broadcast over the radio, a first in the United States.  Richard Drew invented scotch tape, making it easier for the world to wrap Christmas presents, in 1925 as well.  However, one of the most important firsts to happen in 1925 was the conception and development of the R-1340 engine, a single-row, nine-cylinder air-cooled radial design.  Brought to life by Andy Willgoos and George J. Mead, the R-1340, which became the cornerstone of Pratt & Whitney Aircraft, was discovered in the small backyard garage owned by Mr. Willgoos.

Innovative Design

The difference in the R-1340 engine from other engines was the supercharger or blower section which has remained unchanged since its humble beginnings in 1925.  The blower section is attached to the rear power case and receives the fuel/air mixture from the impeller assembly.  This mixture is delivered to the cylinders via the intake pipes and and then to the crankshaft using a spring loaded gear.  This protects the blower gearing from sudden acceleration or deceleration.

Introduction of Different Blower

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The original blower developed by Willgoos and Mead came to be known as a ball bearing blower as it was supported by three ball bearings.  Pratt & Whitney later introduced a plain type blower which does not use ball bearings.  Many believe that the reason for the development of the plain type blower was due to weakness of the ball bearing blowers, but this is not the case, as both types of blowers have good and bad qualities.

Classified as a top-secret design when it was developed in the 1920’s, the R-1340 engine is still as much of a modern marvel today as it was almost 100 years ago, making it one of the aviation industry’s modern marvels.
Covington Aircraft has been overhauling, selling, and maintaining radial engines and turbine engines since 1979. If you need a radial engine part, perhaps for your R-1340, make sure you visit our website and give us a call! Happy Flying!

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