HAI Convention News

Program update: P&WC pitches Sikorsky S-76D engine to other helicopter OEMs

 - February 19, 2009, 10:47 AM

Pratt & Whitney Canada’s new 1,000-shp-class PW210S turboshaft engine, which has been developed to power the Sikorsky S-76D and is on offer to other manufacturers for new-build and retrofit applications, is “on track and meeting performance.” The Montreal manufacturer told HAI Convention News that key performance tests had been “successfully completed” as it continues to optimize the engine. “We’re on target to complete all ground certification tests by the end of [March].”

Four PW210Ss are being used in development testing, including one engaged in icing certification tests, said P&WC. Another three engines have also been assigned to the development program.

Engine certification, at one time scheduled for mid-2008, now “remains on schedule for [the fourth quarter of] this year,” according to the company. Asked about alternative PW210S applications, P&WC told HAI Convention News, “We continue to discuss potential programs with other OEMs.”

Flight-testing for the S-76D slipped into early this year after the airframe manufacturer acknowledged six months ago that its year-end target would be “a challenge.” Using fuselages provided by Czech contractor Aero Vodochody, Sikorsky’s Keystone division will manufacture the S-76D alongside S-92s at its plant in Coatesville, Pa., where it makes the S-76C++ and will produce specific other variants as more work is transferred from Stratford, Conn.

Other P&WC Turboshafts
Improvements introduced on the PW207D1 model, now in production to power the Bell 429, will benefit the entire PW200 family in the long term, said P&WC. More than 800 PW200-powered helicopters fly in over 50 countries. “The PW207D1 and D2 show about 9 percent more takeoff power in comparison to their predecessor,” a spokesman said.

The company said the increased power is evident at all ratings, including single-engine operations: “For example, [one engine inoperative] OEI ratings are higher as well.” The two new variants differ in that the D2 introduces a fuel heater to meet specific customer power-to-weight ratio requirements. P&WC received Canadian type certification for the PW207D1/D2 last November.

Rotorcraft manufacturer Russian Helicopters has accumulated 100 hours of flight time on its new PW127TS-powered Mi-38 medium-twin helicopter being developed with P&WC under a memorandum of understanding signed last May.

Although the program dates from 2001 and P&WC “actively participates” in development, the company remains coy about specific details, even on things it previously has announced. For example, on supply of engine kits to Russian Helicopters, which also will develop PW127 turboshaft conversion modules, P&WC said, “This is part of our commercial confidentiality agreement and [we] cannot disclose any details.”

But nine months ago, it had announced “The PW127TS engines will be sold in kits. Modules to convert and adapt the PW127 as a turboshaft engine will be built in Russia under the technical supervision of Pratt & Whitney Rus,” which is to provide technical and customer support.

P&WC would not confirm that Russian PW127TS certification is still planned for 2011, with service entry in 2012. The Mi-38 will accommodate up to 30 passengers or a five-ton payload. P&WC is discussing potential PW127TS variants with many helicopter manufacturers.

Now more than 45 years old, P&WC’s ubiquitous PT6 continues to be enhanced, the latest -67E variant having been earmarked for the new Eurocopter EC 175 medium helicopter. Development is on track, with engine certification scheduled for 2011.
The new model sports dual-channel Fadec, and P&WC has eliminated materials such as cadmium and chromium from the manufacturing and design processes.

Looking forward to the engine approaching the half-century mark, the company said, “We’re very excited about this segment of our business and [are] investing to continue offering excellent value. P&WC is continuing to develop and introduce new technologies to even further reduce engine emissions. Customers tell us they need outstanding performance and reliability, combined with the best power-to-weight ratio, fuel burn and overall operating economics, plus engines that are greener than ever. This is where we are investing and we will continue to monitor the market closely.”