Reaching New Heights

Reaching New Heights
The 1960s: A decade filled with engineering firsts for Pratt & Whitney, specifically for general aviation and the helicopter markets.

PT6 Turboprop Engine Launch


A now legendary engine, the PT6 engine celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. The original PT6 engineering team decided to start with a 500 shaft horsepower engine appropriate for small aircraft. Critics found the decision counterintuitive because at that time piston engines ruled the small-aircraft aviation world. But it turned out to be a bold and brilliant choice that directly contributed to the engine's enduring success. In December 1963, Pratt & Whitney Canada shipped the first PT6 production engine, the PT6A-6, to Beech Aircraft Company for its Beech 87, which later became the King Air.

The PT6 engine is now the engine of choice for operators in the general aviation market, and has the most flying hours of any engine in the market.

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Hiller Ten99 Flies Under Full PT6 Engine Power


Originally developed for a United States Navy Assault Support Helicopter program, the experiential Hiller Ten99 helicopter was the first aircraft to fly solely under PT6 engine power! Pratt & Whitney Canada's early emphasis on a version of the PT6 for helicopters culminated on May 25, 1965, with certification of the groundbreaking PT6B-9 turboshaft engine. It was developed alongside the -6 turboprop, the main difference being the single stage reduction gearing in the turboshaft that produced a higher shaft speed of 6,230 rpm.

The first aircraft to fly soley under PT6 engine power, proving the engine's power and versatility.

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JT15D Engine Launch


Pratt & Whitney Canada launched the development of the turbofan engine in 1966 to meet the demand from Cessna Aircraft Company for an aircraft powered by fan jets that would cruise at 400 mph. A pioneer design in the category of small fan jets, the JT15D produced 2,200 lbs of thrust in its initial version. Rugged and simple in design, with only six major rotating components, the JT15D eventually offered thrust up to 3,400 lbs. This engine began a nearly 60-year relationship between Pratt & Whitney Canada and Textron Inc.

The JT15D changed the game for operators when it came to increased horsepower and extended time between overhaul. The JT15D has a long history of reliability and performance, and was one of the first engines to be certified for extended operations (ETOPS) on twin-engine aircraft.

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3,400 LBS

60 year

Innovation Takes Flight

Explore the 1920s

Reaching New Heights

Explore the 1960s

Changing the Game

Explore from the 1980s to the 2000s

Revolutionary Aircraft

Explore the 2010s

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