Users of Pratt & Whitney Canada engines can look forward to access to more training locations and online learning tools becoming available to them in the fourth quarter of this year under an agreement signed by the Montreal-based turbine-engine builder and FlightSafety International earlier this year. P&WC announced the agreement at a press conference yesterday here at EBACE.
“Pratt & Whitney Canada currently has four customer training centers, located in overhaul centers in Montreal, Singapore, Germany and China,” Raffaele Virgili, vice president customer service, told AIN. “These will continue to operate as usual while we transition our training to some 12 to 15 FlightSafety facilities.” After the transition to FSI is completed sometime next year, the space now used
for customer training in the overhaul centers will be used in some other capacity by these overhaul centers.
“The expansion of our training capabilities network is another way in which we are working to anticipate the needs of our global customer base and provide the best value to the industry,” said Virgili. “Through this agreement we will be physically closer to customers and able to offer a stronger technology-based training curriculum with greater frequency.”
Customers will have access to more online training tools and FSI will use its learning and content management systems to maintain and update the courseware for P&WC. Maintenance technicians will also benefit from FSI’s full-scale systems trainers, component cutaways, working models, maintenance-task simulators and test equipment.
Investing in the Future
P&WC continues to invest some C$400 million in research and development each year, said Maria Della Posta, senior vice president of sales and marketing, at the press conference. She said this figure represents 50 percent of the total annual investment in aerospace R&D in Canada and makes P&WC the number one company in the country in terms of R&D expenditures. She noted that the company has certified 70 engines since 1994. P&WC has delivered more than 70,000 engines, of which more than 45,000 are in service.
Among current R&D programs are continued improvement of the 50-year-old PT6 turboprop engine, the latest versions of which are four times more powerful, have 40-percent better power-to-weight ratios and provide 20-percent lower specific fuel consumption than the original PT6s. Also under development is the PW800 turbofan, which Cessna selected for its now on-the-shelf Columbus large-cabin business jet. While no target date has been set for certification of the PW800, P&WC is carrying on development of the program together with Pratt & Whitney in Hartford, Connecticut, Della Posta said. The engine has a common core with the PW1000, which will power Bombardier’s new C Series single-aisle airliner, and this core ran for the first time in December.
P&WC plans to continue its high level of R&D investment in spite of a decrease in engine deliveries last year. In 2008, the company delivered a record 4,000 engines. Last year it delivered 3,144 and this year it expects to deliver between 2,800 and 3,000 engines. The decrease is primarily due to decreases in and cancellations of orders for turbofan engines powering business jets.
P&WC milestones being celebrated here at EBACE include the delivery of the 500th PW308C turbofan to Dassault Aviation. This engine powers the Falcon 2000DX/EX/LX jets.
The engine company also honored NetJets Europe for achieving 500,000 flight hours in 97 business jets powered by P&WC engines. The aircraft include various Cessna Citations, Hawkers and Dassault Falcons. NetJets’ most recent acquisitions include two Falcon 7X jets, powered by PW307A engines.