Pratt & Whitney confirm engine fix

Pratt & Whitney has released a revised configuration as a fix for issues that caused delays in the supply of its PW1100G-JM geared turbofan (GTF) engines to Airbus for a number of the manufacturer’s A320neo aircraft.

The problem related to a knife edge seal on the high-pressure compressor near the rear of the engine that affected “a limited subpopulation of the PW1100G-JM engine that powers the Airbus A320neo aircraft,” it said.

The fix, the company added, was based on a design with which it has “significant experience, and this solution has received all necessary regulatory approvals. Pratt & Whitney has begun implementing this solution and production engine deliveries incorporating this change will begin in early March.”

The company added it would continue to work with Airbus and its mutual airline customers to minimise operational disruption.

Pratt & Whitney had implemented an engineering change mid-2017 intended to improve the durability of the knife edge seal for the engine. Engines that incorporated this change entered revenue service on customer aircraft beginning in December last year, but during late January and early February this year, four of these modified engines did not perform as anticipated.

A total of 43 impacted engines installed on 32 aircraft were confirmed, of which 21 aircraft have one engine with the modified configuration, and 11 aircraft have two engines with the configuration. There are also approximately 55 such engines delivered to the Airbus final assembly line awaiting installation on customer aircraft.

The GTF-engined fleet has so far posted about 500,000 hours flight time and is expected to reach one million hours by the end of the year.


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