Expanding aviation capacity in a nation as large and geographically diverse as China, with a vast population increasingly predisposed to mobility, is fundamental in supporting a modern and diversified domestic economy, as well as a productive and prosperous citizenry. As a vital player in the growth of aviation in China, we are proud to be at the forefront.
It was some 90 years ago when Pratt & Whitney made its first foray China; today, we are strongly anchored here. Modern China is the most populous country in the world with some 1.4 billion people. Expected of a country spread over some 9.6 million square kilometers, China features just about every geographic and climate profile found on earth.
From short-haul regional flights to longer-haul domestic and international routes, China represents a market that is exceptionally rich in potential for the host of Pratt & Whitney-powered fixed-wing aircraft flying, along with the auxiliary power units (APUs) we also manufacture. Another exciting opportunity lies in the various helicopter platforms that we power and their increasing application in the country.
We power helicopters from the major airframe OEMs operating around the world. One common attribute of these helicopters is their versatility – their ability to adapt to many different commercial missions ranging from medical rescue to VIP transport, and from utility to law enforcement, and much more. The helicopters we power boast exceptional dispatch reliability based on engine availability rates that score consistently above industry benchmarks.
We have been designing, manufacturing and servicing helicopter engines for more than 50 years. We offer a modern portfolio of five helicopter engine families, certified in 36 different models having produced roughly 17,500 helicopter engines, more than 10,000 still flying today. In China, we have more than 500 helicopter engines powering aircraft, and we are confident that number will increase as aviation expands across the country.
A Few Examples
The PT6T engine – known as the TwinPac™ – was our first helicopter engine, and now has some 46 million flight hours to its credit. It has powered numerous helicopters over the years, including the workhorse Bell 212 and Bell 412 models. The PT6C engine family, and the two key platforms it powers – the Leonardo AW139 and the Airbus H175 – enjoy widespread use in offshore transportation, as well as some key applications in emergency medical services (EMS), among other missions. The PT6B-37A is a direct descendent of the TwinPac™ and has found its most popular application powering the single-engine Leonardo AW119.
Around for more than 20 years, our PW200 engine remains the most popular for current light-twin helicopters. Our newest helicopter engine, the PW210 family, powers the new generation of twin-engine intermediate and medium-class helicopters, namely the Leonard AW169 and the Sikorsky S-76D. The innovation behind this engine even enables it to serve as the helicopter’s APU.
Airbus H135P3 (PW200 engines) is being adopted in China for emergency medical service needs, and for police surveillance. Airbus has recently established a final assembly line for its H135 in Qingdao.
Responding to Growth in China
Over recent years, Pratt & Whitney powered helicopters from Leonardo have taken an increasingly important position within China, including the AW139 and the AW119 (PT6 turboshaft engines) and the AW109 (PW200 engines).
Another light twin is the Bell 429 (PW200 engines) which has become popular in China and around the world for taxi, air charter and VIP transport.
Moreover, the Airbus H135P3 (PW200 engines) is being adopted in China for emergency medical service needs and for police surveillance. Airbus has recently established a final assembly line for its H135 in Qingdao.
Pratt & Whitney also powers the Sikorsky S-76D (PW210 engines) for search and rescue missions in the country, and we anticipate the likely arrival of the Kazan Helicopters Ansat later this year.
Personalized Maintenance Solutions
Pratt & Whitney has traditionally excelled at developing maintenance solutions for its engines that are highly effective in targeting specific performance elements – including our Oil Analysis technology, now available for PT6C-67C/E, PT6T- and PW200- powered helicopters, and our digital engine health monitoring solution, FAST™, used by AW139 operators in China. By bringing these and other complementary services together, we are able to develop a holistic approach to engine maintenance, which is tailored to each engine depending on the mission profile and operating environment. We have also translated our maintenance manuals into many different languages, including Chinese, making it easier for our customers and maintainers to ensure the proper functioning of their aircraft. These are just some of the ways we are creating fully planned maintenance environments for our customers.
Our Chinese customers also appreciate our current turnkey pay-per-hour maintenance programs for single helicopters, two to five helicopters, and for fleets of six and above. Yet, we are continuing to explore new ways to meet evolving needs so that customers can focus on their mission needs, leaving the maintenance to us.
Extensive Footprint in China
As a long-term player in China, we have an extensive physical presence in five of the country’s largest cities. This includes manufacturing and training centres and designated maintenance facilities (DMFs), with one – COHC Aviation Science and Technic Co., Ltd., in Shenzhen – for AW139 helicopters (PT6C engines).
We also have other facilities to service and support our APUs, PT6A and GTF engines, AMECO in Beijing, Shanghai Engine Center in Shanghai, China Flying Dragon in Harbin, and China Southern in Shenyang – all part of our global customer service network that also features field representatives dedicated to China and more than 100 mobile repair team technicians serving China and other countries where our customers operate.
We believe that we are better positioned than any other aviation engine manufacturer to help China and its industry realize its full potential. We remain committed to listening to our current and future customers across the country to ensure we have the right people, the right engines and the right services to meet their mission needs.
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