Posted on: 21 October 2014 by Ross McSweeny
The PT6 engine family made by Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC), which powers a diverse array of turboprop aircraft including all series of the Twin Otter, Pilatus PC-12 and Cessna 208 Caravan models, has just gone past the milestone of 400 million flight hours.
More than 53,000 PT6s have been delivered since 1963, powering over 140 different applications from business and commercial transport, cargo hauling and aerial application operations, as well as aiding in deploying humanitarian aid and extinguishing forest fires. Today's PT6 is up to four times more powerful, has a 50% better power-to-weight ratio and up to 20% better specific fuel consumption compared with the original engine.
PT6A reliability rates have enabled some aircraft types to be certified for single-engine IFR (Instrument Flight Rules), which P&WC says “essentially gave birth to the single-engine turboprop market”.