Building a new engine is a huge gamble, but if the timing is right the payoff can be enormous. For Pratt & Whitney Canada, offering the PW600 series to aircraft manufacturers in the early 2000s turned out to be a smart move. Three manufacturers chose the PW600 for their respective very light jet programs–the Cessna Mustang (PW615F), Eclipse 500 (PW610F) and Embraer Phenom 100 (PW617F).
The engine was originally launched as the 2,500-pound-thrust PW625 in 2000, but P&WC clearly saw a market developing for a line of 600- to 3,000-pound thrust engines. The engine first flew on P&WC’s Boeing 720 testbed in 2002.
Given the strong market demand, the P&WC team decided to adopt a new approach to manufacturing the PW600. At its main manufacturing plant in Longueuil, Quebec, P&WC hired an automotive manufacturing expert to help build a moving assembly line for the engine, using modern supply-chain techniques to bring parts to the line just when needed. The PW600 development and certification program was also the quickest for any P&WC turbofan.
P&WC declined to identify individual team members for recognition as Newsmakers because so many contributed to the PW600’s success. According to a company spokeswoman, “The launch of the new PW600 family and the exclusive engine selections at Cessna, Eclipse and Embraer were strongly supported by the entire P&WC community, including engineering, finance, operations, marketing, customer support, aftermarket and support groups. Exceptional teamwork and cooperation among P&WC, P&W and UTC have been key success drivers throughout the PW600 program.”