Pratt & Whitney to Test Biodiesel Engine

John Davis

PT6A-140AG_EngineAirplane maker Pratt & Whitney Canada will field test an engine running on biodiesel. This company news release says the new PT6A-140AG turboprop engine – selected to power Air Tractor’s new AT502XP aircraft – works in agricultural applications.

P&WC received Transport Canada authorization for field testing of PT6A-34AG engines in Brazil this spray season with S10 and S500 Type B biodiesel comprised of up to 10 per cent bio content. Additionally, P&WC was granted full approval for S500 and S10 Type-A regular diesel fuel.

“The launch of the new PT6A-140AG and our advancements related to biofuels demonstrate our commitment to the agricultural segment and our ability to continuously innovate and raise the bar with the PT6A family to make the world’s best engines even better,” said Denis Parisien, Vice President, General Aviation, P&WC. “The agricultural segment is core to our business. By continuing to drive innovation around biofuels and the latest engine manufacturing technologies, we best serve our customers, the environment and the industry as a whole.”

The PT6A-140AG engine has 867 mechanical shaft horsepower (SHP) and 1,075 thermal SHP. Its modular design and externally mounted fuel nozzles make it the easiest engine in the agricultural segment to access and maintain. The Time Between Overhaul (TBO) can also be extended up to 8,000 hours or 12 years depending on the operation and it is independent of engine cycles. Designed and built to outlast others in the same class, the PT6A-140AG has a minimum component life limit which is 50 per cent higher than competing engines, and will continue to be a productive asset for any operator long after similar engines have been sent in for overhaul. Simple routine engine inspections can be done while still on-wing, in the field or in the hangar, eliminating surprises, reducing costs and providing peace of mind.

Company officials expect full approval of the biodiesel option for the start of the 2016/17 season.