Pratt & Whitney Canada announced a week ago (on Oct 11, 2023) that it had achieved its 200th Engine Type Certification. In this case, the PW127XT-L Regional Turboprop will be moved into production and ultimately into service for the ATR 42-600S regional turboprop aircraft.
Figure 1: VR Model of the PW127-ST-L Gas Turbine
Pratt notes that this is a significant milestone, given that it is the 200th type certification since the introduction of the well-known and commonplace PT6 engine, which was introduced in 1963.
Irene Makris, Vice President for Customer Service at Pratt & Whitney Canada, notes, “This milestone is a testament to the dedication, devotion and technical acumen of generations of Pratt & Whitney Canada employees, as we look forward to many more engine certifications in the decades ahead.”
The PW127XT-L gas turbine engine will power the ATR 42-600S regional aircraft capable of short take-off and landing, or “STOL.” STOL capabilities require the gas turbine engine to have a higher thrust rating, enabling the plane to take off from runways as short as 800 meters. The ATR 42-600S aircraft was first flown on May 11, 2022. This aircraft will seat as many as 50 passengers, hence the regional focus for its markets.
Figure 2: The ATR 42-600S
The PW127XT sets a new standard for the regional turboprop aviation marketplace. These Gas Turbine (GT) Engines offer 40% more time on wing, a 20% reduction in maintenance costs and a 3% improvement in fuel efficiency. While this GT announcement dealt with the ATR 42-600S aircraft, future opportunities await for this engine family. Deutsche Aircraft has also decided to use this engine type to power their D328eco regional turboprop, which has a planned entry into service in 2026.
Pratt & Whitney Canada (PWC) is a division of the larger US-based Pratt & Whitney (P&W), which is itself a business unit of RTX Corporation. PWC has a world product mandate for small and medium aircraft engines, which carries research, development, marketing and manufacturing responsibilities. Pratt & Whitney Canada currently has 10,000 employees worldwide, with 6,000 employees in Canada.
ATR is a joint partnership between Airbus and Leonardo with five offices on three continents. Airbus has about 134,000 employees and is the largest aeronautics and space company in Europe, as well as being the world’s largest manufacturer of airliners. Leonardo, on the other hand, is a global industrial group that builds technological capabilities in Aerospace, Defence, & Security, with over 51,000 employees.
Editor’s Note: Pratt & Whitney is a GLACIER Project partner, a GT engine icing test facility located in Thompson, Manitoba.