For the PT6 engine, the corporate market segment will always have special significance: it was a corporate aircraft – a Beech King Air – that was powered by the first-ever production PT6 engine. Over the years, the corporate market has been very important to Pratt & Whitney Canada for the growth opportunities it provides. Corporate aircraft are generally known for their operating metrics and versatility – which are important factors in terms of costs and the fact that operators use their aircraft for a variety of purposes.
“It’s largely the price of the aircraft and its cost of operation that differentiates the corporate segment from the business aviation segment, which flies business jets,” says Tania Fauchon, Senior Account Manager, Corporate Aviation and Military Engines, P&WC. “Compared to turbofans, turboprops get better fuel economy, while maintenance is less expensive and easier to conduct as the PT6 engine has ease-of-maintenance features built in.”
The corporate market segment is highly diversified. The PT6 has always found success in segments that have fragmented applications, simply because the engine is so versatile and has such strong operating and performance metrics, regardless of the application. “You might have an operator using the aircraft through the week for travelling to business meetings and then loading it full of relief supplies and flying down to Haiti on the weekend,” says Fauchon, “so the aircraft must be able to handle whatever comes its way.” Versatility also means operators can travel in the comfort of an aircraft with a luxurious interior and then land on a short, rough runway.
Since the segment is fragmented, P&WC goes to considerable lengths to understand operators’ businesses; it takes a very discrete, differentiated approach when addressing corporate PT6 operators, as a one-size-fits-all philosophy is just not effective.
“The corporate segment is important to us because the varied applications will continue to push the PT6 engine forward,” adds Fauchon. “We will continue to leverage the value proposition that turboprop-powered aircraft can offer to the segment and to promote the dependability of the PT6 engine.”
OEM and Aircraft:
Beechcraft: King Air Series
Daher-Socata: TBM Series
Piaggio Aero: Avanti II
Piper: Piper Meridian