SINGAPORE 2016: Another busy year for P&W after minor mods for hot starts

Pratt & Whitney Commercial Engines president Greg Gernhardt (pictured) is predicting that 2016 is set to be as busy as 2015, with another set of milestones to be met on the platforms using PurePower geared turbofan engines, as well as putting into service a minor modification relating to engine starts.

“This year we expect certification of the PW1400G-JM for the Irkut MC-21, the Embraer E190-E2’s first flight, the entry-into-service of the CS100 and the A321neo’s first flight and aircraft certification,” Gernhardt explained. “In fact, the A321neo’s first flight is imminent, with certification expected in the fourth quarter of this year.”

By June this year the company will have introduced a minor modification to all PurePower engines it will deliver threafter. The modification is being introduced to reduce the time it takes to restart the engine when it is hot.

Gernhardt noted that a cold engine starts quicker than a hot engine. However, Qatar Airways had complained that the hot start was too long, much longer than experienced on current engine models such as the V2500.

According to Gernhardt, the bearing damper is being worked on to get the rotor in the right location in order to eliminate a thermal mismatch. Fadec software mods along with the damper upgrade will bring the hot restart time back to previous levels.

Gernhardt then returned to recent successes, such as the entry in service of the PW1100G-JM powered A320neo with Lufthansa. “Airbus’s CEO Fabrice Bregier described the engine as having ‘perfect fuel burn’, hitting all the specifications and even bettering some,” he reported. “On both the Neo and the CS100 we’re better than spec.

“On noise reduction, we were committed to a 15dB decrease on A320neo. We’re now achieving –19dB below current levels. That’s 50% better than CAEP 8,” added Gernhardt.

The PW1000G test engines are now undergoing maturity testing. “Right now we’re focussing on hot and challenging environments in testing. For the hot environment, the engine is currently being tested at sea level in Delhi,” Gernhardt stated.

Answering a question regarding the state of production ramp-up, Gernhardt remarked, “On engine assembly, our West Palm Beach and Middletown facilities are already up and running [producing engines] and MTU is now coming on line.”

Bernie Baldwin, editor, Low-Fare & Regional Airlines/

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