EASA certificates new PT6E engine with PC-12 potential

European regulators have approved a new variant of the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 engine, which adds a sophisticated electronic control system to the venerable turboprop powerplant.

Certification for the PT6E-67XP was granted by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on 11 October, according to the authority’s records.

No details of possible applications for the new engine model are listed by EASA, although variants of the PT6A-67 power the Pilatus PC-12/NG.

Earlier this year, the Swiss airframer conducted tests of the PC-12 equipped with the PT6E-67XP, although it has yet to reveal a production upgrade of the model.

However, an announcement could come as early as next week at the National Business Aviation Association conference and exhibition in Las Vegas.

According to US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, Pilatus applied on 9 March 2017 to vary the type certification for the PC-12 through the addition of the PT6E-67XP.

In August, the FAA issued a special conditions consultation regarding the application, with comments due by 16 September.

In the same March 2017 application, Pilatus also sought the addition of an autothrottle system to the PC-12.

Whereas the previous PT6A engine series feature a purely hydromechanical fuel-control system, the PT6E-67XP “is controlled by a dual channel Engine and Propeller Electronic Control System”, EASA documentation states.

The engine’s electronic control software has been written based on inputs from dynamic simulation models of propeller manufacturer Hartzell’s five-blade system – the only propeller integrated for use with the new powerplant.

EASA lists the PT6E-67XP as producing 1,200shp (895kW) at take-off power.