NBAA Convention News

Movers & Shakers: P&WC at forefront of VLJ revolution

 - November 14, 2006, 5:56 AM

From very large to very light jets about to crest the horizon, Pratt & Whitney Canada engines power some of business aviation’s most exciting designs. Anticipation and optimism are whetting the appetite for information not only about the airplanes, but also the engines that will propel them and the systems that will guide them. The NBAA Convention, as usual, serves as the venue for digesting a year’s worth of news.

With two of P&WC’s spotlight-grabbing PW600-series engines within weeks of reaching customers’ hands aboard the first certified VLJs (the Cessna Citation Mustang and Eclipse 500), the company has plenty to talk about. Pratt & Whitney Canada president Alain Bellemare met with NBAA Convention News to offer an update on his company’s accomplishments and prospects in the business aviation and regional airline markets.

Last year you mentioned that around 20 new engines were in development. Can you talk about some of them and reveal how close you are to launch dates?

Our development programs on all fronts–turboshaft, turboprop and turbofan–are advancing very well. In fact, in the last two months alone we have certified the PW610F engine, which is powering the Eclipse 500. We received FAA validation of the PW615F, which is the engine on Cessna’s Mustang, and the PW617F for the Embraer Phenom 100 had its first engine run. Another program that is progressing very well is the FADEC-controlled PW535B for the latest Citation Encore. We will certify this engine shortly.

On the helicopter front, the PW210 engine is the newest addition to Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PW200 family. Its design leverages the extensive field experience of PW206 and PW207 engines in service as well as the newest technology advancements in design and development. We continue to invest in new products and technologies, and I believe it shows in our wide portfolio of engine families.

You mentioned certification for the PW610F and PW615F as well as for the PW617F for the Phenom 100. How many of the -610F and -615F have been delivered to Eclipse and Cessna? Is there a firm certification date for the -617F?

The PW610F received its provisional certification on July 27 of this year and its full type certification on August 22, followed by FAA certification a day later. The PW615F was type certified on December 30, 2005, and got its FAA certification just last month, on the eighth. The PW617 engine certification is targeted for the fourth quarter next year. The Embraer Phenom 100 is planned to enter service in mid-2008. Production levels continue to accelerate as planned. We have delivered more than 50 of these new PW600 series engines to date.

Last year you discussed the PW535E for the Phenom 300. How is the planned certification timetable progressing?

The PW535E engine program is progressing well. We are entering the detail design phase and are targeting a first engine run next June. We are planning initial tests aboard our Boeing 720 flying testbed for the fourth quarter of next year.

What is the status of the PW307A for the Falcon 7X? Are there specific test result numbers, including noise measurements, that you can reveal?

The program is under way and we are meeting all specification requirements as planned. The engine has accumulated more than 790 hours of flight testing on our two Boeing 720 flying testbeds and more than 3,630 hours on Dassault’s four developmental aircraft. The engine was certified in April 2005.

What is the status of the PW210 for the Sikorsky S-76D? Can you comment on flight test progress?

The S-76D program is in full swing and is well under way with the completion of the detailed design phase of the Pratt and Whitney Canada and Sikorsky teams. We’re aiming for engine certification in 2008.

You are well advanced in discussions with a number of other prospective customers for the PW210S?

We expect some helicopter manufacturers to announce new programs within the next few months, and we are confident that the PW210S will be selected as the most advanced engine in its class.

Where do you stand with the PW800 technology core demonstrator program?

We have been working on the Advanced Turbine Fan Integrator technology program for the last three years. We are now positioned to support the 10,000-plus-pounds- of-thrust engine market. We believe there is a market for an engine in the 10K-plus class and we continue to invest in technologies to be ready for the next generation of large corporate and regional jets.