Pratt & Whitney: Wikis


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Pratt & Whitney
Type Subsidiary
Founded 1925
Headquarters East Hartford, Connecticut
Key people David Hess, President
Industry Aerospace
Products Aircraft engines
Gas turbines
Spacecraft propulsion
Parent United Technologies Corporation
Divisions Pratt & Whitney Canada, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne
Website Pratt & Whitney

Pratt & Whitney is an American aircraft engine manufacturer of products widely used in both civil and military aircraft. As one of the "big three" aero-engine manufacturers, it competes with General Electric and Rolls-Royce, although it has also formed joint ventures with both of these companies. In addition to aircraft engines, Pratt & Whitney manufactures gas turbines for industrial and power generation, marine turbines, and rocket engines. The company’s over 38,500 employees support more than 9,000 customers in 180 countries around the world.[1]



Evolution of the Pratt & Whitney eagle logos

In April 1925, Frederick Rentschler approached the Pratt & Whitney Machine Tool Company in Hartford, Connecticut for funding and a location to build his new aircraft engine. Pratt & Whitney loaned him $250,000, the use of the Pratt & Whitney name, and space in their building. This was the beginning of the Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Company. Pratt & Whitney's first engine, the 425 horsepower (317 kW) R-1340 Wasp, was completed on Christmas Eve 1925. On its third test run it easily passed the Navy qualification test in March 1926; by October, the Navy had ordered 200. The Wasp exhibited performance and reliability that revolutionized American aviation. The R-1340 powered the aircraft of Wiley Post, Amelia Earhart, and many other record flights.

The R-1340 was followed by another very successful engine, the R-985 Wasp Junior. Both engines are still in use in agricultural aircraft around the world and produce more power than their original design criteria. Replacement parts for both engines are still in production and it is theoretically possible to assemble a new engine from the parts.

In 1929, Rentschler ended his association with Pratt & Whitney Machine Tool and formed United Aircraft and Transport Corporation, the predecessor to United Technologies Corporation. His agreement allowed him to carry the Pratt & Whitney name with him to his new corporation.

On August 2, 2005, Pratt & Whitney acquired the space propulsion company Rocketdyne from Boeing and renamed the company Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, Inc.

Pratt & Whitney is headquartered in East Hartford, Connecticut and also has plants in Columbus, Georgia; Middletown, Connecticut; Dallas, Texas; Cheshire, Connecticut; West Palm Beach, Florida; Longueuil, Quebec; Toronto, Ontario;North Berwick, Maine; Bridgeport, West Virginia.

The home stadium for the University of Connecticut Huskies football team, Rentschler Field, is located adjacent to Pratt & Whitney's East Hartford, Connecticut campus, on Pratt's company-owned former airfield of the same name.


In motorsport

Between 1967 and 1971, Pratt & Whitney turbine engines were used in American Championship Car Racing and Formula One. Parnelli Jones's entry in the 1967 Indianapolis 500 dominated the race until a small part failed four laps from the finish. The following year, Team Lotus entered a trio of 56s at Indianapolis. Two of the cars qualified fastest and second fastest, but all three retired from the race. Turbine cars were deemed illegal before the following year's race, so Lotus chief Colin Chapman developed the car for use in Formula One and an updated 56B competed in half a dozen Formula One races in 1971.


Pratt & Whitney is a business unit of industrial conglomerate United Technologies, making it a sister company to Sikorsky Aircraft, Hamilton Sundstrand, Otis Elevator Company, UTC Fire & Security and refrigeration giant Carrier Corporation. It is also involved in two major joint ventures, the Engine Alliance with GE which manufactures engines for the Airbus A380, and International Aero Engines company with Rolls-Royce, MTU Aero Engines, and the Japanese Aero Engines Corporation which manufactures engines for the Airbus A320 and the McDonnell Douglas MD-90 aircraft.

Commercial Engines

Pratt & Whitney's large commercial engines power more than 40 percent of the world’s passenger aircraft fleet and serve more than 800 customers in 160 countries. With more than 16,000 large commercial engines installed today, Pratt & Whitney provides power to hundreds of airlines and operators, from narrow-bodied airplanes to wide-bodied jumbo jetliners. In June 2007, Pratt & Whitney’s fleet of large commercial engines surpassed 1 billion flight hours of service.

Global Material Solutions

Pratt & Whitney’s Global Material Solutions (GMS) makes parts for the CFM56 engine thus giving customers an alternative in new CFM56 engine materials. In addition to engine parts, GMS provides customers with fleet management and customized maintenance service programs. United Airlines was the GMS launch customer.[2]

GMS received its first part certification in July 2007, when the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) granted Parts Manufacturing Approval (PMA) certification for the GMS high pressure turbine (HPT) shroud for the CFM56-3 engine. In March 2008, the FAA certified the GMS fan and booster with a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) with FAA Chapter 5 life limits equal to the original type certificate holder. The STC was the first FAA certification ever granted for alternative life-limited engine parts. In May 2008, Global Material Solutions received FAA STCs for its remaining life limited parts for CFM56-3 engines.[3]

Global Service Partners

Pratt & Whitney Global Service Partners (GSP) offers overhaul, maintenance and repair services for Pratt & Whitney, International Aero Engines, General Electric, Rolls-Royce, and CFMI engines. In addition to engine overhaul and repair services, GSP provides services including line maintenance, engine monitoring and diagnostics, environmentally-friendly on-wing water washes, leased engines, custom engine service programs and new and repaired parts.

Pratt & Whitney maintains one of the largest service center networks in the world, with more than 40 engine overhaul and maintenance centers located around the globe.

Military Engines

Pratt & Whitney's Military Engines power 27 air forces around the globe, with nearly 11,000 military engines in service with 23 customers in 22 nations. Pratt & Whitney military engines include the F135 for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), the F119 for the F-22 Raptor, the F100 family that powers the F-15 Eagle and F-16 Falcon, the F117 for the C-17 Globemaster III, the J52 for the EA-6B Prowler, the TF33 powering E-3 AWACS, E-8 Joint STARS, B-52, and KC-135 aircraft, and the TF30 for the F-111. In addition, Pratt & Whitney offers a global network of maintenance, repair, and overhaul facilities and military aviation service centers focused on maintaining engine readiness for their customers.

Pratt & Whitney Canada

Pratt & Whitney Canada (PWC), originally Canadian Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Company, and later United Aircraft of Canada, provides a large range of products, including turbofan, turboprop and turboshaft engines targeted for the regional, business, utility and military aircraft and helicopter markets. The company also designs and manufactures engines for auxiliary power units and industrial applications. Its headquarters are located in Longueuil, Quebec (just outside Montreal).

Space Propulsion

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne engines powers the Space Shuttle, supplies booster engines for Delta II rockets and boosters and upper stage engines for Atlas III and V and Delta IV rockets. PWR took on its current structure in 2005 when Pratt & Whitney Space Propulsion and Rocketdyne Propulsion & Power merged to form the Canoga Park, California-based company.

PWR developed the Redstone engine that took American astronauts into space for the first time, and the Atlas, which placed astronaut John Glenn into Earth's orbit.[4]

Pratt & Whitney Power Systems

Pratt & Whitney Power Systems (PWPS) designs, builds, furnishes and supports aero-derivative gas turbine and geothermal power systems for customers worldwide. These industrial gas turbines power everything from small businesses to small cities. PWPS’ industrial turbines not only generate electrical power, but provide variable speed mechanical drive for marine propulsion, gas compression, and liquid pumping. PWPS has over 2,000 industrial gas turbines installed in more than 40 countries worldwide. PWPS also provides parts and repairs for heavy-duty frame gas turbines as an OEM alternative.[5]

International Aero Engines

International Aero Engines is a joint venture that develops, builds and services the V2500 aero engine family, which powers the Airbus A320 family and McDonnell Douglas MD-90 aircraft. The four engine manufacturers that make up IAE each contribute an individual module to the V2500 engine. Pratt & Whitney produces the combustor and high-pressure turbine, Rolls-Royce the high-pressure compressor, JAEC the fan and low-pressure compressor and MTU the low-pressure turbine.

Engine Alliance

Engine Alliance, a 50/50 joint venture between General Electric and Pratt & Whitney, was formed in August 1996 to develop, manufacture, and support a family of modern technology engines for new high-capacity, long-range aircraft.[6] The main application is the GP7200, which has been designed for use on the Airbus A380. It competes with the Rolls-Royce Trent 900, the launch engine for the aircraft.

The first GP7200-powered Airbus A380 entered service with Emirates on August 1, 2008 on a non-stop flight from Dubai to New York City.[7]


Civil turbine engines

TF33s of a C-141 Starlifter leave contrails over Antarctica
F-22 showing F119 engines in afterburner

Military turbine engines

Reciprocating engines

Turboprop engines

Aeroderivative industrial and marine gas turbines

Engine Maintenance Systems

Ecopower Services - Pratt and Whitney now markets a pressure-washing service that uses a high-pressure water spray run through several nozzles to clean grime and contaminants from jet engine parts, most notably turbine blades, which prevents over-heating, improves engine operating efficiency and reduces fuel burn. The system collects the runoff from the washing process for appropriate disposal. The washing is accomplished at the airport tarmac in about one hour. Pratt and Whitney's customers include United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Air India, Martinair, Singapore Airlines, Northwest Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, and JetBlue.[8][9][10][11][12]


  1. ^ Pratt & Whitney: An Overview web page, Pratt & Whitney
  2. ^ “Pratt & Whitney Boldly Enters PMA Parts Manufacturing Market”, Aviation Maintenance, April 1, 2006.
  3. ^ “Pratt & Whitney Global Material Solutions Program on Track for Part Certifications”, Pratt & Whitney Press Release, July 15, 2008.
  4. ^ North American Aviation…Rocket Engines. Boeing Web site
  5. ^ "Pratt & Whitney Power Systems Enters Into a Parts Agreement with Los Angeles Department of Water and Power", PWPS press release, Feb. 11, 2008.
  6. ^ "A380 makes first U.S. stop on preparatory tour", Associated Press, Oct. 2, 2007, Stephanie Reitz.
  7. ^ "GE/P&W GP7200 To Debut on Emirates A380", Aviation International News, July 17, 2008.
  8. ^ Engine Washing Cuts Airline Fuel Costs, Wall Street Journal, June 11, 2008, p.B1
  9. ^ Pratt & Whitney EcoPower Services web page, Pratt & Whitney
  10. ^ "United Airlines to Save on Fuel and Reduce Carbon Dioxide Emissions", United Airlines Ecopower Press Release, June 11, 2008.
  11. ^ "Southwest Airlines to Save Millions in Fuel Costs and Significantly Reduce Carbon Dioxide Emissions with Pratt & Whitney EcoPower Engine Wash Services", Southwest Airlines Ecopower Press Release, June 11, 2008.
  12. ^ [1]

External links


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