Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) is boosting its rotorcraft market presence by launching a re-engining programme for the Bell UH-1 Huey helicopter using the PT6C-67D, and developing a higher-power version of the PW200 turboshaft family likely to be dubbed the PW209.

The upgraded Huey will have improved performance, lower operating costs and "all the benefits of a new generation engine at a very competitive installation price", says P&WC president Gilles Ouimet. Installation is expected to cost less than $1 million. Sea level range should increase by more than 15%, while hot-day payload performance could increase by up to 47%. The helicopter will have an extra 30min endurance at 4,000ft (1,220m) and 35°C.

The programme, which includes an improvement in tailrotor authority for hot and high conditions, is backed by a five-year, 2,500h warranty and is due to get Transport Canada certification in October. The US Federal Aviation Administration is expected to certificate the re-engining kit in April next year. Test flights are to start in July in conjunction with Global Helicopter Technologies, which is developing the supplemental type certificate.

P&WC believes the upgrade, which replaces the original Honeywell T53-13B turboshaft, could extend to between 1,000 and 1,500 of the 3,500-plus candidate Hueys still in use. "We do not have a launch customer, although we are in discussions," says Ouimet. The launch of the PT6 programme is expected to mark the end of UH-1 re-engining efforts with the LHTEC T-800, re-lifed T53s and General Electric T700-703s.

P&WC, meanwhile, is "looking at launching a higher-power version of the PW200 for single and twin applications," says Ouimet. The new variant, likely to be called the PW209, will be rated at 670kW (900shp) to 730kW, and will build on upgrades already developed for the PW206, PW207 and latest variants - the 207E and 207K.

Source: Flight International