www.wingsmagazine.com

Features Engines
TURBOPROP SINGLETONS: Variations on a PT6 theme

There are now six design variations


October 24, 2007
By David Godfrey

Topics

There are now six design variations on the theme of a single-turboprop,
low-wing, pressurized airplane – the SOCATA TBM700 from France; the
Pilatus PC-12 from Switzerland; the Aero Vodochody Ae270P from the
Czech Republic in partnership with AIDC of Taiwan; the Advanced
Aerodynamics & Structures Inc. (AASI) Jetcruzer 500 and the New
Piper Malibu Meridian from the US; and the projected Farnborough F1
from the UK. There is also an unpressurized utility airplane, the
Pacific Aerospace. Corp. (PAC) PAC 750XL from New Zealand.

Each
of these airplanes is powered by a single Pratt & Whitney Canada
PT6 engine, that long-established and well-proven powerplant being the
design starting point in each case. It is the extreme reliability of
the redoubtable PT6 series that has made single-engined aircraft
acceptable for carrying passengers despite the stringency of
contemporary airworthiness requirements.

Prior to the current
batch of low-wingers, the PT6 was used for such notable high-wingers as
the Pilatus Turbo Porter (680-shp PT6A-27), and the Cessna Caravan
(600-shp PT6A-114) and Grand Caravan (675-shp PT6A-114A).