TOULOUSE, FRANCE – Pratt & Whitney has completed ground and flight testing of the PurePower PW1000G demonstrator engine. The final phase of testing was completed jointly with Airbus on an A340-600 flight test aircraft and included 27 flights and more than 75 hours of flight testing. The PW1000G engine features Pratt & Whitney’s patented Geared Turbofan technology and targets double-digit reductions in fuel burn, engine noise, environmental emissions and operating costs. Pratt & Whitney is a division of United Technologies Corp.
The Airbus flight testing follows Pratt & Whitney’s own ground and flight test program, during which the engine completed approximately 300 hours of ground testing and 12 flights on Pratt & Whitney’s Boeing 747SP flying test bed. The PW1000G demonstrator engine successfully completed all test objectives.
"It is truly unprecedented to complete this amount of testing on a technology demonstrator engine," says Bob Saia, vice president, Next Generation Product Family. "We were able to complete all flight test objectives with flawless engine operation. The Airbus A340 flight test program included engine test evaluations normally conducted for a production engine certification. The PurePower PW1000G demonstrator engine successfully demonstrated the performance and operational benefits of the engine's unique gear system."
The most recent flight test program assessed in-flight performance, engine handling, in flight acoustics and aircraft installation of the demonstrator engine. Following the recent removal from the Airbus A340 aircraft, Pratt & Whitney will analyze the test data for engine design optimization during the next several months.
"One of a kind demonstrator engines like this are typically designed to test for approximately 100 hours," says Saia. "It is extraordinary that the PW1000G demonstrator engine completed 406 hours of testing including a total of 120 hours in flight. The engine performed exceptionally throughout the program, demonstrating both performance and reliability under extremely challenging tests such as high altitude aircraft flight maneuvers exceeding two Gs of acceleration force. Thousands of data points taken during this test program will enable our engineers to optimize the engine as we enter detailed design mid-year."
The completion of the ground and flight test program clears the way for detailed design of the production PurePower PW1000G engine for the Mitsubishi Regional Jet and the Bombardier CSeries mainline aircraft. Both aircraft are scheduled to enter service in 2013.
The PurePower PW1000G engine uses an advanced gear system allowing the engine's fan to operate at a different speed than the low-pressure compressor and turbine. The combination of the gear system and an all-new advanced core delivers double-digit improvements in fuel efficiency and environmental emissions and a 50 percent reduction in noise. Pratt & Whitney has successfully tested the advanced high pressure compressor and low emissions combustor technology. The PurePower PW1000G engine is an all new centerline engine that includes next generation technology in every major module.