Workers and leaders from Pratt and Whitney, one of the nation’s largest engine manufacturers, showed off the company’s top-selling engine during a visit to Washington D.C. on Wednesday.
The Geared Turbofan Engine for commercial aircraft has been in service for a year, and after 200,000 flight hours, has proven to be remarkably popular in the competitive commercial aerospace sector.
Eight thousand engines are on order and they’re made all over the United States.
"We’re really excited about this. And this is good for the entire nation because these engines are not only made here for American engines.. we sell them all around the world," said John Larson, who represents Connecticut’s First Congressional District which includes Pratt’s East Hartford corporate headquarters.
Pratt and Whitney has already hired more than 4,500 employees over the past 18 months and reiterated its goal to hire about 25,000 more nationwide.
In Connecticut, Michael O’Connor works as a Final Engine Assembly Inspector at the company’s Middletown plant.
"This engine is going to be the long pole for the future employees at P&W and in our suppliers base," O’Connor said.
Pratt and Whitney will invest more than $400 million in expansion in Connecticut which is all related to the production and assembly of the engine. For that reason, O’Connor predicts a boom that will continue for years.
"There’s 8,000 plus orders. It’s a long term assembly future for Connecticut and the country," O'Connor said.
In Middletown at the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce, they couldn’t be happier with the relationship with Pratt and Whitney, with the group’s president Larry McHugh describing it as part of the heartbeat of the region and the state.
"We are really really bullish on Pratt and Whitney," McHugh said. "They mean so much to our community, Middlesex County and the state of Connecticut. I really believe that they are the diamond in the state of Connecticut."