From left to right : John Saabas, President, P&WC, Jim Hirsh, President, Air Tractor, Denis Parisien, Vice President, General Aviation, P&WC and Maria Della Posta, Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing, P&WC.
As the aviation community powers up for the next National Agricultural Aviation Association (NAAA) convention in Reno, Nevada, Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) is also busy writing the next chapter of its storied relationship with one of its long-standing partners. Air Tractor and Pratt & Whitney Canada have signed a long-term commercial agreement covering the sale of PT6A-15AG, -34AG, -60AG, -65AG, -67AG and -67F engines. Air Tractor is one of the leading manufacturers of agricultural and firefighting aircraft and exports its aircraft to countries around the world.
“The first PT6-powered Air Tractor, the AT-400, was flown to the National Agricultural Aviation Association convention in 1979. Since that time, more than 2,100 PT6 engines have powered Air Tractor aircraft,” says Denis Parisien, Vice President, General Aviation, P&WC. Says Jim Hirsch, President, Air Tractor: “The PT6A has proven to be a wonderful fit for the agricultural aviation [ag] market, with its unmatched reliability, durability and high power-to-weight ratio.”
Last year, almost one in four PT6A engine deliveries were destined for new ag aircraft. Supporting this growing fleet is a worldwide network of 30 P&WC-owned and designated maintenance facilities, 100 field support representatives (FSRs), a 24-7 Customer First Centre and a parts distribution centre network achieving a 12-hour response time for any Aircraft on Ground (AOG) situation.
The signing of this agreement underlines the confidence that P&WC and Air Tractor have in each other and their relentless determination to support a vital need in the world market as they continue to look to a long and bright future together. “For nearly 35 years, Air Tractor has powered its aircraft with the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A turbine engine,” says Hirsch. “Their reliability, quality and performance are well proven.” Hirsch says that the two companies have developed a strong relationship over the years. “Pratt & Whitney Canada has worked with us to be a dependable source for engines, as well as a helpful partner in the support of their engines and our customers.”
This year, P&WC’s PT6 engine is celebrating fifty years of turboprop innovation in December. Air Tractor also celebrated the delivery of its 500th AT-802 and 3000th aircraft, an enormous and fitting achievement for a company whose slogan is “Settle for Nothing Less Than the Best”.