Covington Aircraft Engines, located at Okmulgee Regional Airport, near Tulsa, Okla., is known for its work overhauling Pratt & Whitney R-985, R-1340 and PT6 engines. This past week, though, the MRO gave back to the engine manufacturer by presenting Pratt & Whitney Canada president John Saabas and his executives with a handmade table in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the venerable PT6 turbine powerplant.
In a widely unexpected move, Embraer has switched partnership alliances from GE to Pratt & Whitney with its choice of the Geared Turbofan to power the next generation of E-Jets. The decision, announced last Tuesday, gives Pratt & Whitney its fifth application for the engine line also known as the PurePower PW1000G, and leaves Boeing as the last of the four major Western airframe manufacturers not to have adopted the design.
Covington Aircraft, a Pratt & Whitney Canada distributor and designated overhaul facility since 2009, recently expanded its approved capabilities to include maintenance, repair and overhaul on most PT6A engines. The company sells new P&WC PT6As and says it maintains an ample supply of rental engines to keep customers flying. Founded in 1972, Covington Aircraft still overhauls Pratt & Whitney R-985 and R-1340 radial piston engines at its Okmulgee, Okla. facility.
In the 1950s, Dee Howard of San Antonio converted and rebuilt Lockheed B-34/PV-1 Venturas as executive transports, calling them the Howard Aero 250 and 350. Over a four-year period the company also built 16 new Model 350s, virtually by hand, which it called the Howard 500. The Howard 500 retains the general lines of the Model 350 and its powerplant, the 2,500-hp Pratt & Whitney R-2800 CB-16/17 radial engine.
When engine maker Pratt & Whitney opened its first machine shop in a tobacco warehouse in Hartford, Conn., 80 years ago last month, former Wright Aeronautical president Frederick Rentschler probably could not have imagined how popular, and ubiquitous, the company’s engines would become.