PARIS 2015: Pratt & Whitney gears up for milestones

Pratt & Whitney is preparing to meet milestones for four of the platforms which use its PW1000G family of geared turbofan engines, reported the company’s chief executive officer, Paul Adams.

The PW1100G-JM is set to enter service with the Airbus A320neo in late 2015, while the PW1200G is scheduled to fly for the first time on the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) in the September-October timeframe. The engine for the Embraer E-Jets E2 family is beginning ground tests. Finally, certification of the PW1400G-JM for the Irkut MC-21 is expected later this year, with two compliance engines currently in assemblY.

“The PW1100G-JM is achieving 16% better fuel burn than the V2500, and with the V2500 being 1%-2% better than the CFM56, the PW1100G-JM is almost 18% better than that,” Adams claimed. He noted that the PW1400G-JM is “about 98% the same” as the PW1100G-JM, so those performances figures can be applied to the former.

The company is not just working on getting the announced models into service. Adams stated that a PIP (performance improvement package) upgrade is likely to be available from around 2019. “I believe this will give us a sustained fuel burn advantage in the long-term,” he explained.

Going back to testing, Adams confirmed that three engine models are flying on eight flight test aircraft. So far around 5,000 flight hours have been flown, plus 19,000 ground test hours and 34,000 engine test cycles.

For the PW1000G family, Pratt & Whitney has a backlog approaching 7,000 engines, not just for the A320neo family. “We have about 50% of the A320neo orders [whose engine choice has been announced] and about 70% of the A321neo,” Adams declared.

Ramping up of production during the second half of the decade is where a significant effort is being put in order to meet entry-into-service dates. “We’ve attracted orders from 40 airlines in three years, many not current P&W customers, so we’ve created a 7-stage gated process to get to EIS,” Adams remarked.

In the aftermarket, the P&W philosoophy is to move to service-led support with fleet management programmes (FMPs). “We will still offer more traditional support but think the former is better. So far almost 80% of the GTF [PW1000G] engines are on some kind of FMP,” Adams said.

Asked for his thoughts on the “middle of the market” aircraft (757 replacement) and the thrust requirements, Adams commented, “I wouldn’t disagree with the GE estimate of 40,000-50,000 lb. As for the market size for the product, I’m not entirely sure. It’s probably too early. But whether one or two engines are qualified for the aircraft will be a good indicator of the size of the market.”

Whether a GTF-type engine would be utilised, he remarked, “Well, we’d be looking at entry into service between 2023 and 2028, so I’m not sure. In all honesty, I could not have predicted the domino effect of the last five years with the CSeries, the MRJ, the A320neo, the MC-21 and the Embraer E2s,” he concluded candidly.

Bernie Baldwin, editor, Low-Fare & Regional Airlines/
Le Bourget, Paris, France

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