PT6T-9 Clutch Inspection Interval Extension to Reduce Related Maintenance Costs by 66%
Pratt & Whitney Canada Corp. (P&WC) has increased the clutch inspection interval for its PT6T-9 engine which powers the Bell 412EPI helicopter. The 60 per cent increase will see the interval move from 1,250 hours to 2,000 hours, meaning that a clutch inspection is required only once during the engine’s gearbox TBO of 4,000 hours. Previously, three inspections were required during the TBO period.
“The extension of the clutch inspection interval means significant savings for PT6T-9 operators,” says Irene Makris, Vice President, Marketing, P&WC. “We made the call to extend the interval after inspecting a representative sample of clutches in the field during the month of September. Based on a detailed analysis of these clutches at 1,250 hours and 1,900 hours, we’re pleased to validate this new interval for our customers. The sampling, detailed inspections and analysis conducted by our team create a significant operational benefit to operators.”
Clutch inspections are conducted to determine service wear, including clutch shaft diameter wear. The inspections are typically done on wing by mobile repair technicians. With only one inspection per gearbox TBO, rather than three, operators will save 66 per cent in their maintenance costs related to clutch inspections.
The Bell 412EPI entered into service in January, 2013. There have been 127 PT6T-9 power sections manufactured. The main benefit of the engine is its electronic engine control for accurate governing, advanced diagnostic features and its digital control that interfaces with the glass cockpit. The PT6T-9 also has 15 per cent additional thermal power and features lower maintenance costs than previous models. The PT6T-9 has been in service with the Royal Saudi Air Force and Turkish Coast Guard since 2003, before its introduction into the commercial market in 2013. The engine has more than 10 years of proven reliable service.
The PT6T Twin-Pac® created the foundation for P&WC’s success in the helicopter market. It has twin PT6 power sections combined with a gearbox that allows for twin- and single-engine operation. Its multi-stage axial and single-stage centrifugal compressor has a reverse flow radial inlet with a screen to prevent foreign object damage. The engine’s reverse flow combustor provides for low emissions and high durability. The PT6T powerplant has an independent ‘free’ power turbine with shrouded blades featuring a modular design for fast hot section refurbishment.