DOCUMENTARY SERIES (Part 2) – Hugh Langshur

To celebrate the PT6 engine’s 50th anniversary, PT6 Nation has launched a documentary series featuring interviews with “The Legends Behind the Legend,” Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PT6 engine pioneers. After all, what better way to set the tone than going to the source: the team responsible for bringing this iconic turboprop to life?

Enter Hugh Langshur, a P&WC retiree whose legacy goes back to the early 1950s, when he arrived in Quebec, Canada, from Eastern Europe to begin work as a manufacturing engineer at United Technologies Corporation. It wasn’t long before Langshur joined the ranks of the famous “PT6 Pioneers,” the men responsible for the first PT6 production engine delivered in 1963.

It was only fitting that PT6 Nation dug close to the roots of the PT6 engine, in St-Lambert, Quebec, to meet with an ever-gracious Langshur, who welcomed the crew into his home with open arms. Originally from what is now known as the Czech Republic, Langshur joined the ranks of the PT6 Pioneers as a manager and was central to the budding turboprop’s licence manufacturing process.

With his warm smile and sharp wit, Langshur recounted the early days of the PT6 engine conception – those anxious first days of production and the refreshingly bohemian approach that he had toward his work. Despite being an accomplished engineer, Langshur earned himself the title of poet laureate at P&WC: “I would write poems for special occasions,” he beamed. “Sometimes I would include one in my weekly reports to [P&WC’s then-chief engineer and fellow PT6 Pioneer] Dick Guthrie…. I even wrote one for the PT6 engine’s first test flight!”

Today, Langshur and his wife are enthusiastic art collectors – an extension of the engineer’s right-brain leanings. The colourful oils and sculptures adorning their brightly lit home are punctuated by photos of family and friends and tokens of Langshur’s decorated career. Black-and-white portraits tell stories of his European roots – a lengthy and equally fascinating conversation for another time, perhaps.

Stay tuned for the remaining interviews with Hugh Langshur’s fellow PT6 Pioneers, which will air over the course of the year. And don’t miss PT6 Nation’s conversation with Gordon Hardy .

COVER PHOTO: David Meisels et Hugh Langshur

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