P&WC launches customer support enhancements
By Pratt & Whitney Canada
Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC), a leader in the regional turboprop market for over 30 years, is setting its sights on further growth through the development of innovative engines, including a totally new centerline engine for the next generation regional turboprop (NGRT). At the same time, it is continuing to innovate to provide tailored support to its global engine customers when and where they need it.
By Pratt & Whitney Canada
Two of the newest members of the iconic PW100 turboprop engine family are the PW127N, designed specifically for a new fleet of ATR 72-600 aircraft, and the PW150C, being custom-developed for China’s MA700 regional turboprop. Certified last year, the PW127N engine offers enhanced product performance in hot and high operating conditions, including a 4.5% thermal power increase for Maximum Take-Off ratings (MTO). Field conversions from the PW127M will be feasible with minor hardware modifications. The PW150C was selected last year to power the MA700, a newly designed 78-86 seat regional turboprop being launched by AVIC Xi’an Aircraft Company of China. Leveraging the success of the PW150A engine, it will provide increased performance and power reserve through the addition of a third-stage power turbine, a modified reduction gearbox to support the aircraft’s larger diameter propellers, and an enhanced low-pressure compressor. Aircraft and engine certifications are expected for the end of 2018.
Also under development is a new large engine targeting the future 90+ seat class regional turboprop aircraft. It’s being designed to deliver a more than 20% improvement in fuel burn over today’s fleet with the efficiency and flexibility of a fully integrated propulsion system. The NGRT will deliver in the range of 5,000 to 7,000 shp as well as economic and environmental benefits that will sustain the regional turboprop’s competitive advantage for airlines serving short-haul, high frequency routes. P&WC has launched a detailed design and is continuing Phase 2 of compressor testing as part of a technology demonstrator program.
Enhanced customer support
Meanwhile, P&WC is continuing to innovate to provide tailored support to its engine customers, with speed, simplicity and performance at the top of the company’s list of priorities. Recent initiatives to increase response times include introducing mobile repair team (MRT) capability in both Australia and Singapore to provide full support for the Asia Pacific region. This latest addition means that P&WC now offers full MRT coverage in all corners of the globe. P&WC has a total of 130 certified technicians enabling rapid on-wing maintenance support, which minimizes aircraft downtime.
P&WC further differentiates itself by stocking inventory around the world to support customers. It currently has engine parts in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia with seven different warehouse locations strategically placed in an effort to provide AOG support and allow for parts delivery within 8 hours. The company’s two Customer First (CFirst) Centers in Canada and Singapore continue to set the industry standard for real-time customer support, fielding some 300 calls per day and operating 24/7.
In addition, a more user-friendly, interactive e-Channel portal is under way. Highlights of the changes to come are an improved user interface and a more integrated user experience with improved digital-service capabilities, including an industry-leading online parts-ordering functionality. Customers can now view technical publications, file warranty e-claims and PpH program activity, and troubleshoot engine issues by using this online resource. In the near future, they will also be able to view availability of spare parts, pricing, ordering and tracking of orders.
An increasing number of P&WC engine customers are also turning to P&WC’s innovative FAST Flight Data Acquisition Storage and Transmission System to enhance dispatch reliability. Five years after its first installation on board a Dassault Falcon 7X business jet, FAST has been certified for the Bombardier Q200, Q300 and Q400 regional airliners, the ATR 42 and ATR 72 twin-turboprops, the Bombardier Learjet 60 business jet, and the AgustaWestland AW139 helicopter.
FAST is an end-to-end system that automatically collects full flight engine and aircraft flight data recorder files and transmits these via cellular coverage when the aircraft lands. The data is delivered in the required format to the operators’ data analysis center and the engine performance metrics to the trend analysis center, saving airlines time and money and ensuring simple integration into their operations. Such high quality, high volume data post-flight ensures a higher quality engine condition trend monitoring result and gives operators more confidence with preventative maintenance notifications. P&WC is currently developing an automated propeller balancing trending solution for Bombardier and ATR customers that simplifies the propeller re-balancing task. It is also working on an innovative automated Flight time, Block time solution that will provide airlines with this critical operational information that today is primarily collected manually on these aircraft.