3 Ways to Understand Your Turboprop's Power Ratings

By P&WC CUSTOMER SERVICE
Jun. 26, 2017 | | 2 min read

The power management systems on your turboprop provide full control of the engine’s power during all phases of flight. Plus, being aware of your engine’s customized power ratings leads to more durable and cost-efficient maintenance.

CHECK MANUALS FOR KEY DATA

The engine manufacturer receives a mission profile that analyzes and establishes component life as well as durability factors such as low cycle fatigue, creep, oxidation and vibration. From this data, customized power settings are determined for Aircraft Flight Manuals (AFMs) or Pilot’s Operating Handbooks (POHs). These documents are essential in managing a turboprop’s power and maintaining its performance, because the settings they contain help pilots correctly position the power lever to deliver the right torque during takeoff, climb, cruise and approach.

KNOW YOUR CERTIFIED LIMITS

Turboprops such as the PT6 and PW100 are versatile engines. They are designed to provide maximum takeoff power over a wide range of ambient temperatures so that the engine is not overworked. However, each turboprop performs up to a predetermined, customized thermal rating, which you can find in the AFM and POH.

PT6A65 and PW124 cutaway engine

PT6A65 and PW124 cutaway engines from P&WC image bank

Need to know the maximum power settings for climb, cruise and takeoff as well as any restrictions that may apply while your aircraft is on the ground? Your engine’s manual has got all that covered. The AFM and POH also provide a maximum continuous rating, which is certified only for in-flight emergencies and is typically used for twin-engine aircraft when only one of the two engines is functioning.

MAXIMIZE ENGINE PERFORMANCE

Exceeding your recommended power settings for a prolonged period can place undue stress on hot section components and eventually reduce your turboprop’s performance. Ultimately, operating and maintaining your engine according to its power settings and certified limits has two distinct advantages. Firstly, your turboprop will continue to serve you efficiently and productively; and last but not least, you’ll lower your operating costs in the long run.

Cover photo © Jan Jasinski

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