About a month ago, Pratt & Whitney Canada announced yet another upgrade on their venerable PT6. This engine powers the Pilatus PC-12NGX. It is the first turboprop engine in general aviation to offer a dual-channel integrated electronic propeller and engine control system. This single lever engine control concept is growing increasingly popular.
PW&C explains that at the push of a button, a pilot can start and stop the engine while being protected against hot and hung starts. The single lever and integrated electronic propeller and engine control system allows for precise engine control by constantly monitoring temperature and torque to provide optimal engine power and performance in all phases of flight.
The engine is digitally connected with more than 100 parameters monitored, allowing for predictive engine analysis and system operation with proactive maintenance planning. As the electronic engine control (EEC) receives all engine and key aircraft data, it is able to adjust to optimize and deliver the right engine power needed throughout the flight.
Once the aircraft lands, all the engine flight data can be wirelessly downloaded, providing operators and maintainers valuable insight into the performance and health of the engine. This allows for advanced maintenance planning. This means operators maximize operations and reduce costs. Insights gained from the data maximizes the already high, designed-in engine availability provided by the 600-hour maintenance interval which has been increased from 300 hours, and 43% longer time between overhaul intervals, which increases to 5,000 hours.