Every year, 3.5 billion people travel the world aboard more than 37 million flights. Aviation has transformed how the world’s population connects. In honor of National Aviation Day, United Technologies is reflecting on the many contributions in our company history that have shaped and modernized the aviation industry. From 1909 when Goodrich, now UTC Aerospace Systems, equipped many of the first planes in the United States with components to the Wasp, Pratt & Whitney’s first engine in 1925, UTC has been at the forefront of advancing aviation.
Take a look at some of the milestones from the early years of flight to modern air travel today:
1927 – Charles Lindbergh and the Spirit of St. Louis made the first non-stop solo transatlantic flight from New York to Paris. The iconic airplane featured Goodrich tires and fuel tanks, as well as a propeller from Standard Steel, which later became Hamilton Standard.
1932 – Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic in an airplane powered by a Pratt & Whitney Wasp engine, a Hamilton Standard propeller and components from Goodrich.
1940 – 1945 – During World War II, Hamilton Standard and its licensees made 500,000 propellers for military aircraft. Pratt & Whitney and its licensees produced more than 363,000 engines – 50 percent of the nation’s military aerial horsepower.
1953 – Pratt & Whitney’s J57 engine powered the F-100 Super Sabre as it became the first production aircraft to exceed the speed of sound in level flight. It was the world’s first jet engine to develop 10,000 pounds thrust.
1969 – From the sensors in Neil Armstrong’s backpack to environmental systems aboard the spacecraft, both companies were integral to the Apollo 11 Moon landing.
1970 – Pratt & Whitney’s JT9D engine ushered in the wide-body aircraft era when it powered the jumbo Pan Am airplane on its maiden flight from New York to London. The Boeing 747 was awarded the Collier Trophy by the National Aeronautic Association with particular recognition to Pratt & Whitney.
2006 – The most technologically advanced fighter jet in history, the F-35 Lightning II’s first flight was powered by the Pratt & Whitney F-135 engine and UTC Aerospace Systems components.
Today, Pratt & Whitney and UTC Aerospace Systems continue to transform the way the world travels. Pratt & Whitney’s PurePower ® Geared Turbofan ™ engine entered commercial service on the Airbus A320neo and the Bombardier C Series in 2016. Meanwhile, UTC Aerospace Systems is helping shape the aircraft wing of the future through development of lighter weight, low maintenance actuation components.
UTC’s historic roots laid the foundation for the smart and sustainable solutions that lead the aviation industry today. With air travel expected to double in the next 20 years, more and more passengers will take to the skies on aircraft powered and supported by the ingenuity of UTC’s brightest minds.