PT6 and the big 'Five Oh'

RSS

Pratt & Whitney Canada’s evergreen PT6 turbine turns 50 this year. To mark the event Aviation Week & Space Technology focuses on the little engine that spawned entire generations of general aviation, business, military, transport and utility aircraft as well as helicopters.

Read No Slowing Down As PT6 Marks 50th Anniversary

In the special we examine where the PT6 is now and take a look at where it might be going as P&WC looks to a new generation. We also look at the original ‘Dirty Dozen’ project engineering team which developed the simple concept, and whose innovative design ideas allowed the PT6 to become an engine for all seasons.

Recognizing the engine's historical significance, P&WC bought back production engine No.1 in 1985. The engine was delivered to Beech in December 1963 to power the prototype King Air 90. (Guy Norris/AW&ST)

 

The special includes AW&ST's coverage of the test results of initial PT6A test flights on a Beech 18 in 1961. (P&WC)

Members of the original 'Dirty Dozen' design team in the early 1960s. (P&WC)

 

Some later, more powerful, PT6A models were flight tested on one of P&WC's now-retired Boeing 720 flying testbeds. (P&WC)

Production of PT6A, PT6T, PT6B and PT6Cs is running at around 1,000 engines per year. (P&WC)

To celebrate the milestone year, P&WC is using its dedicated website called PT6 Nation. Part of the effort includes the production of several interesting videos which include interviews with some of the surviving design team (see the videos below).

AW&ST’s web special coverage includes slideshows of some fixed and rotary wing applications, a PT6 flying testbed and several unusual alternate applications of the ST6, the ground-based industrial version of the gas turbine. We also include a glance back in time through the AW&ST archives to see how we reported on the progress of flight tests of the engine in 1961. The engine was certificated in 1963 and initial production deliveries started in December that year.  Since then an astonishing tally of almost 51,000 engines have been delivered and PT6 versions continue to be produced at around 1,000 per year.

Please or Register to post comments.

What's Things With Wings?

Aviation Week's civil aviation blog

From The Archives

Aviation Week is approaching its 100th anniversary in 2016. In a series of blogs, our editors highlight editorial content from the magazine's long and rich history.

 

Aug 27, 2015
blog

Aviation Week Lifts Veil On Boeing B-52 Bomber (1952) 20

In 1952, Aviation Week provided the first details on the new Boeing B-52 bomber....More
Aug 14, 2015
blog

Bonanza Travel Pays 3

The legendary Beechcraft Bonanza has an impressive production record, so perhaps the marketers back in 1949 were onto something when they coined the phrase "Bonanza travel pays."...More
Aug 14, 2015
blog

Venerable Boeing 727 Prototype To Fly Again 29

The most famous 727, the prototype aircraft which would join United as N7001U, was delivered to the airline in October 1964 having served its time as a Boeing test aircraft....More
Aug 13, 2015
blog

Aviation Week And The Bomb

Aviation News did not predict how nuclear weapons would change the world. But neither did anyone else....More
Aug 13, 2015
blog

Collins Radar Takes The Ups And Downs Out Of Flying

Turbulence? Rockwell Collins had a solution for those bumpy rides in the early 80s with its WXR-700 Doppler Weather Radar....More
Blog Archive
Penton Corporate

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×