The PT6C-67C Turboshaft Engine Is A Piece Of Art

I know a little bit about a lot of things, including engines and airplanes. However, ...

I know a little bit about a lot of things, including engines and airplanes. However, when it comes to airplane engines, I swear I feel like I’m trying to understand what the color yellow smells like. I just can’t really wrap my head around how these things work.

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Don’t get me wrong, I understand the principles and physics at play enough to “get it”, but when I see something like this video, it only serves to further compound my confusion as to the actual inner workings of a turbine engine. This cutaway is a beautiful look at the inside of a Pratt & Whitney PT6C-67C turboprop engine used around the world to power helicopters. The engine small engine, which is only 65” in length and cranks out an impressive 1,700 horsepower.

Looking at this engine as the camera walks by, you can see the intricate passages and tight tolerances that allow a relatively small engine to produce such an impressive output. According to Pratt & Whitney’s website, “The 1,600 to 2,000 shaft horsepower class PT6C-67 Series has been produced in four models and its versatility has been demonstrated on a wide variety of applications. Over 1,372 PT6C-67C engines power helicopters in service with 197 operators in 68 countries in such applications as oil exploration, emergency medical service, maritime patrol, business and utility operations.”

Now, if I could only see this view of one of these engines while it’s spinning at speed and actually operational (yes, I’m aware that’s physically impossible, that’s why I said “if only”) I might be able to fully understand exactly what type of wizardry goes on inside while all of these blades are spinning and the rotors are whirring away at up to 21,000 RPM. So, I guess, for the time being, I’ll just be over here trying to smell this yellow.

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