NBAA Convention News

P&WC reports on its PW600 series plans

 - June 20, 2008, 4:50 AM

Pratt & Whitney Canada announced last year at NBAA 2000 that it had embarked on development of a new line of turboprop, turboshaft and turbofan engines, the PW600 series, spanning a power range from 1,000- to 3,000-lb thrust (500- to 2,000-shp), and a demonstration program for geared turbofan engine technology.

P&WC recently described progress on both initiatives, along with the status of its PW308A and PW308C turbofans on the Raytheon Hawker Horizon and Dassault Falcon 2000EX, respectively.

P&WC has announced that the first PW600 turbofan prototype, the PW625F, is scheduled to run by the end of this year, with initial flight of the 2,500-lb-thrust engine on the company’s Boeing 720 flying test bed to take place in the first quarter of 2002. In the 13 months since P&WC launched its full-scale PW600 demonstrator program, independent rig testing on critical PW600 components has been completed with results exceeding expectations, according to company spokespeople. Tests have demonstrated full engine performance and validated a simpler Fadec system, they added.

Specifically designed for business and general aviation markets, the PW600 family covers a range of aircraft from prop-driven singles and light twins with the PW600P (turboprop) to entry level and small business jets with PW600F turbofans. P&WC has said it may also develop a PW600 turboshaft in the 600- to 1,000-shp range if the market dictates.

Dramatically Better SFCs

Company officials say they are on track to achieve goals of double-digit improvement in specific fuel consumption vis-à-vis their PT6 and JT15D engines, with reliability and durability equal to or better than those long-established products. A P&WC marketing executive told Aviation International News that the PW600F line is not intended to replace any existing in-service Pratt turbofans. “If you look at our market gap,” he said,  “this engine fits right below our PW500 family. By moving down into the 1,000- to 2,500-lb-thrust range the PW600 line will provide some of the first competition for Williams International and Agilis Engines in the small turbine-engine market.”

Timing of development and introduction for the first production PW600 engines “depends upon the first customer,” the source said. P&WC is committed to specific engine model development and certification within 36 months from an aircraft program launch. To date, the engine maker has not announced any specific aircraft applications for the PW600 family.

Both the turboprop and turbofan engines will benefit from simplified design that significantly reduces installed weight, the company said. It has announced an initial turboprop engine concept, the PW608P, in the 800-thermodynamic-shp class and rated at 550-shp takeoff power. With an eye to retrofit STC applications, P&WC noted that the turboprop is “designed to fit large turbocharged piston aircraft engine installations.”

P&WC engineers have been working with counterparts in the U.S.-based Pratt & Whitney large commercial engines business for more than a decade on geared-fan system technology. At the beginning of this year P&WC stated that a 12,000-lb-thrust ATFI demonstrator would run in a test cell within three months and that an engine embodying geared-fan technology would fly on the B720 test bed aircraft by year’s end. A company spokeswoman verified that the test-cell run took place earlier this year and that the flight-test schedule is on track. The engine family is now known officially as the PW800 series.

Geared T-Fans the Way To Go

The company expressed belief that geared turbofans will offer superior performance and economics while setting new noise and emissions standards. It said the approach allows optimization of fan and turbine speeds, reduces parts count, saves weight and reduces complexity. P&WC estimated that after the demonstration project has been completed and evaluated, a new family of geared turbofans in the 10,000- to 20,000-lb-thrust range could be available within 36 months of a formal program launch.

The company reports being in a “dialogue” with several regional jet airframe manufacturers. Engines in the 15,000-lb thrust range and 20,000-lb thrust range are considered likely launch products.