P&WC opens 1st phase of new flight test operations centre

Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) has joined with the Canadian and Quebec governments to inaugurate the first phase of its global flight test operations centre at Mirabel.

"Thanks to the passion and determination of the teams from P&WC and its partners, the world-class aerospace centre we announced two years ago is well on its way to becoming a reality," remarked P&WC president John Saabas. "This facility reinforces Pratt & Whitney Canada’s position as an aerospace leader and continues to grow Quebec’s and Canada’s capabilities as a global aerospace hub. It will be one of the largest flight test operations centres for civil aircraft engines in North America."

The Mirabel Aerospace Centre will support flight testing for the complete range of Pratt & Whitney engines, including turboprops and turbofans up to 90,000 lb thrust. The centre houses two Boeing 747SP aircraft that have been transformed into flying test beds to simulate a complete range of flight conditions and collect record amounts of engine data.

Phase II of the Mirabel Aerospace Centre, already under way and scheduled for completion in spring 2011, includes construction of a highly advanced assembly and test facility. At the new facility, P&WC will assemble and test the PurePower PW1524G for the Bombardier CSeries and the PW800 engine family for the next generation of large business jets.

A 300,000 sq-ft facility, the Mirabel Aerospace Centre represents a $360-million investment. Approximately 300 people will be employed at the facility by 2015.

In line with P&WC’s commitment to sustainable development, the Mirabel Aerospace Centre is designed to meet LEED Silver certification standards. It is equipped with a wall to absorb and store solar energy as well as an energy-efficient lighting system that maximises the use of natural light. The engines assembled and tested in Mirabel will feature the most advanced green technologies available today, providing significant reductions in fuel burn, environmental emissions and engine noise.

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