PT6 Turboprop Celebrates 45 Years

Pratt & Whitney is marking the 45th anniversary of the PT6 engine, the most famous turboprop engine in the world. The first engine powered the Beech King Air 90, and versions of the PT6 continue to power dozens of models from the King Air 90GT to highly successful singles such as the TBM 850 and Pilatus PC-12.

The PT6 story has been one of continuous improvement in engine air flow and high-temperature materials. The first engine produced just over 500 shp at sea level on a cool day, but versions of the engine now generate 2,000 shp and more. Pratt claims 330-million flight hours of experience for the PT6 and credits the engine with launching a line of business airplane turbine engines that power a huge range of airplanes from the light Cessna Mustang jet to the ultra-sophisticated Falcon 7X.