March 13, 2013
The first Pratt & Whitney PW1100G geared turbofan (GTF) to be flight tested for the Airbus A320NEO is being prepared for installation on the engine maker’s Boeing 747SP testbed in Mirabel, Canada.
Some 112 hours of ground tests already have been conducted at Pratt’s West Palm Beach, Fla., site and the engine “performed well,” says VP-Next Generation Products Family Bob Saia. Speaking at the ISTAT Americas 2013 conference in Orlando, Fla., Saia says Pratt also decided to take advantage of lessons learned on the first engine by making minor design adjustments on the second engine before it began ground tests.
The PW1100G is due to be certified early in the third quarter of 2014, and should power the A320NEO for its initial test flight shortly afterward. Pratt currently has about 1,150 PW1100G engines on firm order for the A320NEO, or slightly under half the overall market that has so far selected an engine. The PW1100G competes with CFM International’s Leap-1A, which is due to run for the first time in the third quarter.
The first Pratt-powered NEO is planned to enter service in October 2015.
The PW1100G is expected to fly on the Boeing 747SP flying testbed in the second quarter of 2013, and is one of eight test engines in the program. The first flight-compliant production engines are set to begin assembly in late 2013 to support the Airbus flight test and certification effort. This is scheduled to include four aircraft—two A320s, one A319 and an A321.
Pratt “initially targeted a 12% reduction in fuel burn,” with the GTF but now will achieve 15%, says Saia, adding that the expected performance benefits are reflected in the market penetration of the engine. The announcement of the PW1700G/1900G variants for Embraer’s second-generation E-Jet series in January marked the fifth application for the PW1000G series after Bombardier’s CSeries, the A320NEO, Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) and Irkut’s MS-21 project.
“We have just over 3,000 engines on order, and we’re ecstatic,” says Saia. “Overall, we have now tested 15 engines and accumulated 4,500 hours of testing and 450 hours in flight.” Following delivery of the first shipset of PW1500Gs to Bombardier for the CSeries, Pratt is “now building four production engines” in readiness for the start of flight tests of the aircraft later this year.
The PW1200G for the MRJ also is “fully designed and about to start certification tests. It will be certificated [Part 33 engine clearance] in 2014,” he adds.