For more than 85 years, the people of Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) have been implementing new ideas woven into the fabric of who we are today.
In our continuum of innovation, the regional experience we’ve acquired over the years has paved the way for the PW100 engine family, which, in turn, paved the way for numerous other innovations.
The PW100 created the market 30 years ago, enabling the creation of a more extensive Field Service Representative network, a 24/7 help desk, a comprehensive training school, the introduction of Electronic Controls, P&WC’s DOF network, comprehensive warranty programs & department, and many more innovations and transformations that continue to make P&WC the turboprop leader it is today.
P&WC’s turboprop engines have played a key role in the development of the regional airline industry. The popularity of our turboprop engines continues to grow thanks to their unmatched fuel efficiency and environmental friendliness. Today, P&WC is the leading turboprop engine manufacturer for the airline industry, powering all new-generation regional airline turboprop aircraft, including the Bombardier Q400, ATR 42 and 72 aircraft, and Xian Aircraft’s MA60 and MA700.
Some of the new technologies, such as our first electronic controls, were brought to market by John-Charles (JC) Smith, together with René Fontaine. They led this emerging discipline from the ground up at P&WC. They designed our first supervisory electronic controls during the development of the PW100. It’s easy to understand JC’s motto, “Keep it simple,” when we realize that at the beginning of the 1980s, he had to program the entire supervisory software with a very limited pool of resources.
Of his more than 35 years at P&WC, JC devoted 30 to the PW100 and eventually became Program Director. His experience with the PW100 helped him understand the big picture and ask the right questions. This led to new responsibilities, where he has been supporting the design efforts of the PW800 and mentoring the development team for the past five years. JC is one of six senior fellows at P&WC and one of the three specializing in project management. He is also one of the executive delegates representing P&WC at Transport Canada and a Design Approval Appointee for the PW1200 and PW1500 engines.
These credentials certainly define a career, but JC admits that “the happiest moments over the years happened when we won the respect of a customer for our accomplishments.” He remembers fondly, 30 years ago, the delivery of the first aircraft, a Dash 8-100 powered by PW120A engines acquired by NorOntair, followed by Europe’s ATR42 and Brazil’s Embraer EMB-120.
These engine flight hours marked the beginning of the PW100’s worldwide success, which helped propel our company’s transformation. The PW100 is a testament to the fact that innovation and flight are all about broadening our horizons. And at P&WC, horizons are broadened by people!
This article concludes our series on the 30th anniversary of the PW100 honouring 30 P&WC innovators and their colleagues. Thank you for broadening our horizons Jeffrey, Gaétan, André, Michael, Peter (Kent and Boyd),Yves, Carmine, Ian, Graham, Vince, Carlo, Montie, Bruce, Kian, Keppel, Dusty, Dave, Dominique, Guy, Christian, Murdoch, Sam, Duncan, Frank, Tsukasa, Ian, Marc, René, Eric and JC.
PW100/PW150 by the Numbers