Feeding the world’s hungry is a daunting task, often made more complicated by the remote locations where malnutrition is most prevalent. In 2012, the World Food Programme (WFP), created under the United Nations in 1961, delivered some 3.5 million metric tonnes of food to 97.2 million people in 80 countries around the world. The WFP accomplished this remarkable feat in part by relying on a fleet of rugged aircraft, many of which are powered by PT6A engines.
According to Paul Forest, Senior Representative, Customer Service, Corporate, Utility and Military Aircraft, PT6-powered aircraft are often the only ones able to make food deliveries in remote areas. “The WFP contracts its aviation food delivery work to a number of companies, which typically fly PT6-powered aircraft,” he says. “They are best suited to fly into remote locations because of the engine’s reliability, payload and takeoff and landing capabilities.”
Aircraft in use by the WFP include the Beechcraft 1900, Pacific Aerospace Limited’s P-750 XSTOL, the Cessna Caravan and the Twin Otter, all of which are powered by PT6A engines.
Paul will be attending the Global Humanitarian Aviation Conference & Exhibition in Morocco in early October of this year to make a presentation on the unique capabilities of the PT6 engine and will offer tips and guidelines for preventive maintenance. The conference is attended by the aircraft operators who work under contract with the WFP and by other associated companies. The safety-focused conference drew some 300 delegates last year.
“Obviously, the WFP carries out critical work around the world, and the need seems to increase with each passing year,” says Paul. “The operators who provide air transport for WFP’s food deliveries are heroes themselves, and at P&WC we’re always at their service to help make their flight operations safe and reliable. When it comes to the cargo they deliver, it truly is a matter of life and death. It is the special capabilities of the PT6 engine that help make the program possible.”
Just one more example of a remarkable engine that, after 50 years of service, is still helping to change the world one flight at a time.