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EVOLUTION OF THE EAGLE

The Pratt & Whitney Eagle stands for tradition, innovation, and dependability.

Pratt & Whitney’s eagle logo has long been a great attraction for pilots, mechanics and collectors around the world. While the origins of the eagle have been obscured by time, the logo was established early in the company’s history.

The Pratt & Whitney eagle first appeared in October 1925 in an advertisement in the trade journal Aero Digest, two months after Pratt & Whitney began operations. That same year, a bronze medallion with an American bald eagle and the words “Pratt & Whitney—Dependable Engines” was attached to the first engine ever produced by the company. Copies of the original design were made from stamped bronze plates, 2 1/4 inches in diameter and colored with vitreous enamel. This first logo was mounted on the oil sump of Pratt & Whitney’s first Wasp engine. The original mold used to make the emblem is now in the Connecticut Aeronautical Historical Association collection.

In 1939, a U.S. patent office registration line was added to the logo. During World War II, as licensees and manufacturers like Ford and Chevrolet were put into service to meet the great demand for Pratt & Whitney engines, each licensee created its own Pratt & Whitney logo. All licensee logos—except the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation of Australia—used the Pratt & Whitney eagle.

In January 1945, the logo was redesigned to eliminate the initials U.S.A. while adding the word Aircraft following the Pratt & Whitney name. A more realistic rendering of the eagle was also used at this time.

In 1981, a contemporary version of the eagle logo was introduced. This logo combined three major elements of the original logo—the eagle, the circle and the company name.

In 1987, the original 1925 eagle design—with minor changes, including a more anatomically correct eagle—was readopted due to popular demand from employees, pilots, mechanics and customers around the world. The return of the eagle was announced at the 1987 Paris Air Show.