US aerospace manufacturer Pratt & Whitney is celebrating a significant milestone for its 35-year-old PW4000-94 engine. Since entering into service in 1987, over 2,500 of the engines have been delivered, clocking up in excess of 150 million flight hours between them.
In those 35 years, more than 70 airline customers in 30 countries worldwide have taken delivery of aircraft fitted with the PW4000-94 engine. With its powerful take-off thrust of 52,000-62,000 pounds, the engine was designed specifically for widebody aircraft, and has helped lift a number of iconic aircraft into the skies. This includes the Boeing 747, Boeing 767, McDonnell Douglas MD-11, Airbus A300, and Airbus A310, with passenger, cargo, and military variants all sporting the PW4000-94.
The vice president of operational commercial engines at Pratt & Whitney, Bernie Zimmerman, highlighted the engine’s performance and flexibility, saying,
“This milestone is a testament to the PW4000-94-inch engine’s legacy of reliability and performance. The 94-inch offers excellent operational flexibility and fuel economy, and lower noise versus the competing engine. It’s an engine that’s been proven on a variety of applications — passenger, cargo, and military.”
United Airlines – a major PW4000-94 customer
United Airlines has been a major customer of the PW4000-94 over the past 35 years, with 81 of the airline’s aircraft being powered by the engine. The engine first entered the carrier’s fleet in 1989 with the arrival of the Boeing 747-400, followed shortly after by the Boeing 767-300 in 1991, some of which are still flying today.
Vice president of technical services at United Airlines, John Wiitala, paid tribute to the engine’s performance, saying,
“United has appreciated the reliability, great fuel economy and low maintenance costs of these engines,” said John Wiitala, Vice President of Technical Services at United. “It’s no surprise that these Pratt & Whitney engines have served United and our customers well for 33 years and counting.”
Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying
Pratt & Whitney – one of the “Big Three”
Based in Connecticut, Pratt & Whitney is one of the world’s leading aerospace manufacturers, and is widely recognized as one of the “Big Three”, along with General Electric and Rolls-Royce. Worldwide, over 13,000 Pratt & Whitney engines are installed on commercial aircraft today.
Pratt & Whitney has manufactured engines for a variety of aircraft sizes, from the PW6000 engine, designed for smaller aircraft of fewer than 100 passengers, to the PW4000-112, capable of supporting the Boeing 777-300.
Photo: Getty Images
The PW4000-94 has a take-off thrust of 52,000 to 62,000 pounds and is approved for 180-minute ETOPS. The engine received Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification in July 1986, before entering into service in June 1987.
Other airlines that have operated, and in many cases, continue to operate aircraft with the PW4000-94 engine include Delta Air Lines, KLM, TUI Airways, and Korean Air.
Have you flown on an aircraft fitted with PW4000 engines? Can you tell a PW4000-94 from a PW6000? Share your knowledge and experiences by commenting below.
Pratt & Whitney
- Date Founded:
- Christopher Calio
- Headquarters Location:
- East Hartford, United States
- Business Type:
- Engine Maker