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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

P&WC Updates Progress on PT6, PW200 Series Engines

By Katie Kriz, Assistant Managing Editor

During a media briefing at Pratt & Whitney’s headquarters where President Paul Adams and other executives reflected on the state of the aviation industry, Rotor & Wing had a chance to interview Richard Dussault, vice president of marketing for Pratt & Whitney Canada (the unit that produces helicopter, business jet and turboprop engines). During his briefing, Adams pointed to two defining P&WC powerplants – the PT6 and the PW200.

Through mid-May, Pratt & Whitney Canada has produced more than 80,000 engines, recently crossing two significant milestones. 2013 marked the 50th anniversary of the PT6. The engine was first used in a twin pack configuration on the Bell 412 and is now also on the AgustaWestland AW119 Koala, Airbus Helicopters EC175 and the AgustaWestland AW609 tiltrotor. Dussault pointed to the PT6’s reliability and versatile design as reasons for the success of the series.

“We’ve grown, and if you think about technology insertion into new compressors, new turbine and new combustors – throughout that technology infusion, we were able to take a product of 500 hp and grow it four-fold to 2,000 shp,” said Dussault.

P&WC is modifying the PT6 engine for the AW609 tiltrotor, with the first full engine run expected to take place later this year. Another version of the PT6, the C67, is currently on the AW139, which is used for missions in the emergency medical services (EMS) and offshore oil and gas industries. In addition, the C67E, a version of the engine modified for the Airbus EC175, received FAA certification in January, and is expected to go into service later this year.

P&WC also noted that the PW200 series is reaching 30 years in 2014. Built for the light twin market, the engines power the Airbus Helicopters EC135, AgustaWestland AW109, Bell 427, Kazan (Russian Helicopters) Ansat and MD900.

More recently, Dussault explained, “we’ve launched the PW210 which powers the Sikorsky S-76D that just entered service last December. We’re also going to power the AW169 that’s going to go into service later this year or early next year.”

The PW210, as the newest addition to the PW200 family, can be customized to the specs of a specific operator, including modifications for single-engine applications if needed. The engine will also be seen on Airbus Helicopters’ X4 – the replacement for the AS355/EC155 Dauphin – within the next few years. P&WC completed the first engine run in March 2014, and is now preparing to deliver the first prototype to Airbus Helicopters.

“We will design unique features for the X4 helicopter based on the specs that Airbus Helicopters gives us, but the heart of the engine – the turbine, the turbo machine and the compressor – is existing hardware that we certify on the 210S for Sikorsky and, soon, on the 210A for AgustaWestland,” said Dussault. “For us, this is the third derivative of the engine.”

Read More about the interview with Richard Dussault in the July print issue of Rotor & Wing.

Related: Engine News

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