Our iconic engine is the result of the collective ingenuity of a great many people who propelled the PW100 family of engines to the great success it enjoys today.
It took insight in the early 1980s to look at the commercial environment and change the destiny of a just-launched program to focus on the emerging regional jet market. Today, it is readily acknowledged that the PW100 helped create the regional turboprop airline market, but even more impressive is the fact that the engine remains the market’s unrivalled leader. The numbers speak for themselves: About nine out of every 10 modern 30- to 70-passenger regional turboprop aircraft operating around the globe are powered by PW100 engines.
It also required as much insight to make ideas work without the computational ability we have today. In the early 1980s, going back to the drawing board literally meant that. The PW100’s history is one of designing a complex and innovative assemblage of shafts, combustors, valves, rotors, blades, oil, air flow, fuel nozzles and engine controls delivering a clear competitive advantage for airlines serving short-haul, high-frequency routes.
With continuous investments in technology made over the four decades of the program, no other engine could fly for so long before requiring maintenance. Think 40 years without having your car brought in for maintenance. This is one of the reasons why we created our Fleet Management Program: to ensure that operators plan an adequate schedule and budget for maintenance. And it is a major benefit that compared with a similarly sized regional jet, a PW100-powered turboprop aircraft burns 30 to 45% less fuel, delivering major savings for operators and a great “thumbs up” for the environment.
The PW100 program required an equally large amount of work to liaise with customers. First we had to troubleshoot the first designs and all the innovative features built into the first models and later respond to customers’ needs as the years went by, taking the initial PW115’s 1,500 shp to the PW150’s more than 5,000 shp 15 years later.
Finally, the growth provided by the PW100 engine was a catalyst in the transformation of our company. In addition to the Fleet Management Program mentioned above, we can give credit to the PW100 engine family for the expansion in Toronto, the 24/7 Help Desk (1990) and the networks of field support representatives (1993) and designated overhaul facilities.
The PW100 engine family allowed P&WC and its customers to grow and prosper and helped open new possibilities for travellers. Today, P&WC can count on this well-established leadership to develop the next-generation regional turboprop (NGRT), which will push the envelope again and deliver in the range of 5,000 to 7,000 shp while improving an already outstanding performance in terms of fuel economy and maintenance costs.