November 16, 2015 / 2:37 PM / 3 years ago

Pratt & Whitney Canada launches more powerful utility plane engine

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA (Reuters) - Pratt & Whitney Canada, a division of United Technologies, said Monday it’s launching a new engine for utility and corporate turboprop planes that promises almost 20 percent more power and 5 percent better fuel consumption compared with existing engines.

Announced at the NBAA business aircraft show in Las Vegas, the PT6A-140A is the same size as other dual exhaust port engines in the same small turboprop category, but has a higher power-to-weight ratio. This gives the aircraft a longer range, or allows it to travel at higher speeds.

The engine, which is certified by Transport Canada, was initially designed for the Cessna Grand Caravan EX, but Pratt & Whitney Canada can market it to both makers of new aircraft and as an upgrade for owners of thousands of existing planes.

“The engines we provide today are the same size except they have more power,” Nicholas Kanellias, general manager, general aviation programs at Quebec-based Pratt & Whitney Canada, said in an interview with Reuters.

“We’re effectively fitting the engine in the same hole. So customers, original equipment manufacturers don’t have to change a lot of the aircraft. It’s relatively a drop-in engine but with a significant improvement in capability.”

Kanellias could not provide anticipated sales, or the list price for the engine.

Utility aircraft generally seat six to eight passengers and make short-hop flights of up to two hours.

A variant of the new engine will also be introduced for the agricultural market, where planes are used to spray crops.

Reporting By Allison Lampert; Editing by Alan Crosby

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