We’re here in Dubai where we received a press release from Pratt & Whitney Canada announcing the launch of PT6Nation.com, a new microsite for operators and aficionados of the legendary PT6 turbine engine and its many variants, which currently number 68. The company is obviously getting into social networking big time.
As P&WC explains on the website: “The PT6 Nation is a community of PT6 operators, pilots and fans brought together to tell the story of this legendary engine. Tell the world why you're wild about PT6. Fill up on facts and history, directly from the people who use it. The most popular turboprop in history? It's no wonder. So come on, share. What's your PT6 story?”
Still, you may be wondering how popular a website about a turboprop engine could ever become–even given the fact that more than 40,000 PT6s turboprop engines have been delivered since 1964 and about 23,000 engines are in use on 14,000 airplanes and helicopters today. I’m wondering how exactly social networking can benefit a business. I suppose Pratt will soon find out.
In the meantime, here’s one good reason I can give you to go to the site now. One of the current “Latest Stories,” posted on December 4 by Ryan Densham (I suspect he’s associated with P&WC somehow because the site was just launched), links to a YouTube video. The video shows three skydivers jumping out of a PT6A-powered de Havilland Twin Otter and then maneuvering themselves toward a Pilatus Porter, also appropriately powered by the PT6A, which is in a vertical descent. The camera is mounted on the helmet of the second skydiver. You have got to see this.
Fans of James Bond may recall 007 executing a similar skydive to a Pilatus Porter in the 1995 film “Goldeneye.” Actor Pierce Brosnan played Bond, but an uncredited stunt double named B. J. Worth apparently performed the skydive. You can see a glimpse of that stunt at the very end of the trailer for the movie.