50 Years in the Making
Turning 50 can keep you quite busy – at least that was the case for Pratt & Whitney Canada’s iconic PT6 engine, the first production version of which was shipped in December 1963. Throughout the course of 2013, a number of initiatives were undertaken to recognize a remarkable milestone for an engine that has changed the face of aviation in Canada and around the world.
“We know that the PT6 engine holds a special place in the aviation industry given that more than 50,000 have been manufactured, now powering more than 130 applications and flying in virtually every country on earth,” says Nicholas Kanellias, General Manager, Sales and Marketing, General Aviation, P&WC. “As much as possible, we wanted to involve operators, PT6 ‘fans,’ aircraft manufacturers and employees past and present in our celebrations because it is to them that we owe thanks for the engine’s success.”
P&WC developed a moving video on the PT6 engine (click here to view), which has been viewed more than 25,000 times on YouTube. It depicts the numerous applications for which the engine has been selected and details how it is making a difference in countless missions around the world.
To meet the demand for PT6-engine-branded merchandise, the company opened a unique eStore from which PT6 engine enthusiasts can purchase a variety of products, including the ever-popular special-edition leather jackets bearing the PT6 engine 50th anniversary logo. Products can be shipped virtually anywhere in the world, and payments are securely taken online.
Another initiative undertaken this year was the launch of a customer service app for operators, giving them anytime, anywhere access to complete details on the P&WC global service network, including forms for ordering work requests. Operators around the world are now using the app, which can be accessed here.
The company has also featured the PT6 engine at the numerous aviation shows and exhibitions it has attended throughout the course of the year, including AirVenture (sponsored by the Experimental Aircraft Association), the 2013 Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (sponsored by the National Business Aviation Association) and the annual convention of the National Agricultural Aviation Association. At AirVenture, Disney’s animated film Planes was given a special screening. The central character of the movie is Dusty Crophopper, a crop-dusting Air Tractor AT402, powered by P&WC’s PT6A-15AG. Ryan Densham, from P&WC’s General Aviation team, interviewed Klay Hall, the film’s director, about the role the PT6 engine played in shaping Dusty. To view the interview, click here.
“We held a customer appreciation event at our PT6 engine Centre of Excellence in Lethbridge, Alberta, and also sponsored the Canadian Aerospace Summit (organized by the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada) held in Ottawa in October and at the Aéro Montréal conference held in early December,” says Kanellias. “In addition, we donated a time-expired PT6 engine to Ottawa’s Algonquin College that will be used to support courses conducted at the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum.”
It has been an exceptional year for an engine that will continue to influence the evolution of aviation in the years and decades to come. P&WC will continue celebrating the engine’s 50th anniversary in 2014.