Argentina Air Force to Re-engine Pucara Fleet with PT6A-62s
Pratt & Whitney Canada announced on November 1 that its PT6A-62 engine has been selected to re-engine the Argentine Air Force IA-58 Pucara COIN aircraft fleet.
Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) announced on November 1 that its 950shp (709kW) PT6A-62 engine has been selected by the Argentine Ministry of Defence (MoD) for the powerplant upgrade programme of the twin-engine Pucará aircraft of the Fuerza Aérea Argentina (FAA – Argentine Air Force).
Manufactured in the 1970s and 1980s by Fábrica Militar de Aviones (a predecessor company to FAdeA), the Pucará is a counter-insurgency (COIN) aircraft that is currently powered by two 978sho (729kW) Turbomeca Astazou XVIG engines. The FAA currently has approximately 30 of the Pucará aircraft remaining in service, all operated by Escuadróns I and II of Grupo Aéreo 3 de Ataque as part of III Brigada Aérea at Base Aérea Militar Reconquista.
“The PT6A-62 is the only off-the-shelf engine that is able to meet the stringent requirements of FAdeA,” said Michael Perodeau, vice president, corporate aviation and military programmes, P&WC. “With the PT6A-62′s proven performance and reliability and its aerobatic capability and electronic engine control, the engine upgrades can take place quickly and with less programme risk for FAdeA, which were important considerations for the Argentine military.”
“FAdeA is confident in the choice and we believe this announcement will ensure our programme’s success,” stated Emilio Maligno, business development manager, FAdeA. “P&WC paid close attention to our needs and the PT6A-62 engine fulfils all requirements of maintainability, reliability and availability; key features for our customers.”
“PT6 engines are used by 7,000 operators around the globe and stand as a testament to how P&WC reinvents its products to meet emerging customer needs,” said Perodeau. “Although other engine OEMs have tried, none have come close to matching the versatility and reliability of the PT6. We have consistently taken advantage of aerodynamic and material technology advancements to enhance the performance of the PT6 without significantly increasing its size.”
There are currently some 27,000 PT6 engines in operation today and it has booked 350 million hours of flight. From flying in the Antarctic at 75 degrees below zero to supporting environmental efforts in reforestation programmes, the adaptability of the PT6 engine continues to earn the respect and loyalty of pilots worldwide.
Source: By Dave Allport - 02 November 2011 - Military Aviation News (www.key.aero.com)
Photo: An Argentine Air Force IA-58 Pucará taxies in at El Plumerillo-Mendoza Air Base, Argentina, on November 21, 2005, during Exercise Ceibo. Argentina is now to re-engine its surviving Pucaras with Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-62 engines. (Photo by Key-Alan Warnes)