Pratt & Whitney PT6 series engine
In WW-II and shortly thereafter, piston powered aircraft peaked in power, performance and complexity wise. Power went up to over 4000 bhp for large multi-row radial engines. Only to be defeated by the jet, which was developed by (among others) Germany's Dr. Hans von Ohain and separately in the UK by Sir Frank Whittle. Its principles are based on the "Aeolipile" of the ancient Greek scientist Hero and other great thinkers like Leonardo da Vinci and the laws of Isaac Newton.
Compared to a piston, the gas turbine has less parts and the moving parts rotate in only one direction without stopping and accelerating as the pistons normally do in a engine. Thus, a running gas turbine is basically free of the vibrations normally found in piston models, which translates in much longer service life (TBO) and higher reliability.
Pratt & Whitney PT-6A Technical Information
The PT6A turboprop engine is a powerhouse that offers unmatched performance, reliability and value in its class of 500 to 2000 shaft horsepower for a wide range of applications.
Excerpt from the document:
Unmatched versatility, dependability and performance have made the PT6A engine the most thoroughly proven and popular turboprop engine family in the 500- to 1,700-shp class, covering a diverse range of applications across all aircraft markets. We continually invest in technology to make our engines the most environmentally friendly and to offer even greater value in the form of higher performance and digital engine control.
The PT6 engine, a lightweight free turbine engine incorporating a reverse flow combustion path, is designed for aircraft propulsion use. It utilizes two counter-rotating turbines; one driving the compressor and the other driving the propeller through a reduction gearbox. The latter turbine is “free” or independent of the compressor turbine. More recent, higher powered models incorporate a two-stage power turbine.
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