Pratt & Whitney Completes PurePower PW1000G Engine Demonstration Program

LE BOURGET, FRANCE – After analyzing more than 2,000 data points from more than 400 hours of testing, Pratt & Whitney confirms that the PurePower PW1000G demonstration engine met all program objectives including performance, efficiency, acoustics, and overall operational characteristics. The PW1000G engine, with Pratt & Whitney's patented Geared Turbofan technology, targets double-digit reductions in fuel burn, environmental emissions, engine noise, and operating costs. Pratt & Whitney is a United Technologies Corp. company.

"The PW1000G demonstrator successfully completed a comprehensive four-phase test program, validating laboratory results obtained in 2007 and 2008," says Bob Saia, vice president, Next Generation Product Family, Pratt & Whitney. "We ran a very challenging test program subjecting this engine demonstrator to the same tests required for airplane flight certification. This unprecedented demonstration program provides critical engine data prior to the PW1000G engine entering detailed design later this year."

Airbus and Pratt & Whitney engineers have jointly and independently reviewed the A340 flight test results and confirmed that the geared turbofan engine architecture will deliver a double-digit reduction in fuel burn when the initial PW1000G engine models enter service in 2013.

The first and second phases included 250 hours of ground testing for component performance and acoustics conducted at the Pratt & Whitney's advanced test facility in West Palm Beach, FL. Phase three was a 12-flight, 56-hour test program on Pratt & Whitney's Boeing 747 flying testbed to measure in-flight performance, overall engine operation, in-flight starting, and engine operability.

For the final stage of testing, the engine was then installed on an Airbus-owned A340 flight test airplane in early September 2008. Airbus test engineers conducted a rigorous 27-flight, 100-hour test program, measuring performance, acoustics and operation under high-stress maneuvers. The Airbus demonstration program included approximately 60 high-angle airplane maneuvers with up to 2.1Gs of force.

The joint engineering assessment also confirmed the high efficiency and operational reliability of Pratt & Whitney's innovative fan drive gear system. Testing confirmed the gear system's efficiency with lower than predicted heat rejection into the engine oil system. The demonstrator engine also confirmed the robust design of the gear, which showed little to no wear after the aggressive test program.

"After disassembling the gear system following the entire test program, all hardware was shown to be in excellent condition with little to no wear," says Saia.

In addition to fuel efficiency, performance and operability, the PurePower PW1000G engine demonstration program confirmed a 50 percent reduction in engine noise compared to today's quietest engines. Both external noise and that perceived in the cabin were significantly lower, confirming Pratt & Whitney's target of 20 dB below today's Stage 4 standard.

"We are delighted with the PW1000G engine demonstration program. The joint Airbus and Pratt & Whitney engineering assessments confirm our targets for the geared turbofan architecture," says Saia. "We also successfully demonstrated over 50 percent reduction in NOx emissions with our advanced TALON combustor using a PW6000 model engine demonstrator."

During the demonstration program, Airbus studied the installation aspects of the PW1000G engine and concluded that a geared turbofan engine can be developed and integrated with the airplane similar to a conventional turbofan engine.

"The fan drive gear system was invisible to the airplane, with overall operation of the geared turbofan engine the same as today's conventional engines, only with lower fuel consumption and drastically lower noise," says Saia.

The PW1000G engine is in the final stages of initial design and will begin detailed design later this year. Engine certification is scheduled in late 2011 to support entry into services on the Bombardier CSeries and Mitsubishi Regional Jet in 2013.