September 16, 2013
Credit: Pratt & Whitney
Pratt & Whitney is poised to enter the crucial certification test phase of its PW1100G for the Airbus A320neo and is working around the clock to keep to schedule as it readies hardware for evaluation.
The Neo engine's entry into certification marks a key milestone for Pratt's busy development timetable for the geared-fan family, which was designed to take advantage of the experience gained on the parallel-engine programs for Bombardier's CSeries and Mitsubishi's Regional Jet (MRJ) in Japan. First flight of the PW1500G-powered CSeries was expected imminently at press time, and results from the development of the PW1500G have already been applied to the PW1100G, and vice versa.
A revised cooling design devised for the Neo engine as a result of discoveries made during testing in May will also now feature in production-standard powerplants for the CSeries, says Bob Saia, vice president of Commercial Development Programs. These cooling-flow revisions are now being tested on the fourth Block 1 PW1100G endurance engine, and are designed to counter thermal distress in the inlet guide vanes to the first stage of the high-pressure turbine, he adds. “The engine is configured to the Block 2 [certification] hot-section standard from a durability perspective, and now we are running cyclic endurance and triple-red-line [operational limits] testing,” which will pave the way as a pre-test for the actual 150-hr. test around nine months from now, Saia says.