Pratt & Whitney Canada:

By Staff Writer | January 1, 2005
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The Turboshaft Powerhouse

When it comes to powering helicopters, few engine manufacturers can match the accomplishments of Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC). Since installing the first PT6 in a Hiller helicopter back in 1960, the company has pushed the boundaries of technology, reliability, maintainability, and support to meet the diverse needs of light-single, light-twin, and medium helicopter manufacturers.

"Our family of turboshaft products, ranging from 500 to more than 2,000 shaft horsepower (shp) at takeoff, has propelled us into a leading position in the global helicopter market," says P&WC President Alain M. Bellemare. "The key to our success has been our ability to offer engines with unsurpassed operating economics, versatility and dependability."


These qualities explain why P&WC today supplies turboshaft engines to every major helicopter manufacturer in the world, including Agusta S.p.A., Bell Helicopter Textron, Eurocopter, Kazan Helicopter Plant, and MD Helicopter. Overall, P&WC's turboshaft engines accounts for roughly 30 percent of all deliveries in the global civil market.

Innovation Upon Innovation

Without a doubt, the PT6 class is one of P&WC's most enduring line of turboshaft engines.

Originally optimized in the 1970s for the Bell 212/412 helicopter platform, the PT6 has been reconfigured into multiple variants over the years. Today, it is the most popular and thoroughly proven powerplant in the 1,800- to 2,243-shp class.

"In growing the PT6 family, we pioneered the Twin-Pac concept of combining two power sections within a single gearbox," says Bellemare. "This resulted in a compact power systems that could be used in several helicopter models. It has since become an industry benchmark for reliability.

"P&WC also developed the PT6B-37A, which powers the single engine A119 Koala," he says. "This engine has a new offset rear gear reduction gearbox and an electronic governing unit for precise handling. The latest addition to the PT6 family--the high-tech, low maintenance PT6C turboshaft line of engines--is now being used in new-generation rotorcraft such as the Bell/Agusta AB139 medium helicopter and the BA609 tilt-rotor."

Committed to Customers

P&WC's success in developing turboshaft engines is based on its customer focus. The company involves customers at every stage of the design and manufacturing process, from asking about their specific needs to engineering in simplicity, flexibility, and reliability into all P&WC turboshaft engines.

The company also provides one of the best warranty packages and strongest aftermarket support networks in the helicopter industry. In addition, "Our helicopter engine support division has been ranked Number One by Pro Pilot magazine's annual powerplant support survey for the last four years," Bellemare says. "The votes were cast by helicopter operators: the people we serve 24/7." With its strong legacy of innovative and reliable turboshaft design and manufacture, backed by solid service and warranty protection for customers, P&WC has justly earned its reputation for quality.

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