Airbus, Pratt & Whitney Begin Joint Flight Testing of PurePower PW1000G Geared Turbofan Engine

EAST HARTFORD, CT – Airbus and Pratt & Whitney have launched joint flight testing of the PurePower PW1000G engine with first flight on an Airbus-owned A340 flight test aircraft in Toulouse, France. Airbus and Pratt & Whitney have partnered on flight testing a technology demonstrator of the PW1000G engine, which feature’s Pratt & Whitney’s patented Geared Turbofan technology and targets double-digit improvements in fuel burn, environmental emissions, engine noise and operating costs. The Airbus testing follows Pratt & Whitney’s own ground and flight test program. Pratt & Whitney is a division of United Technologies Corp.

“We are delighted to partner with Airbus on flight testing the PurePower PW1000G engine,” says Todd Kallman, president, Pratt & Whitney Commercial Engines. “Demonstrating the Geared Turbofan technology throughout its entire operating envelope using the Airbus A340 flight test aircraft, combined with the tremendous experience of the Airbus flight test team, will provide us with valuable installation and operating data to further evaluate the performance of this new engine architecture.”

The joint Airbus and Pratt & Whitney flight test program follows 12 flights and approximately 43 flight hours on Pratt & Whitney’s 747SP flying test bed. The A340 flight testing, which will include approximately 75 flight hours, will focus on engine performance and acoustic testing while providing valuable installation and operating data.

“The PurePower PW1000G engine continues to perform flawlessly and has accumulated a total of 306 + Today’s Flight Time hours of ground and flight testing to date,” says Bob Saia, Pratt & Whitney vice president, Next Generation Product Family. “The first phase of our flight test program included full power takeoffs, in-flight performance up to 40,000 feet altitude, engine operability including in-flight starting, and engine operation during extreme aircraft maneuvers. The PW1000G engine’s performance has met all of our pre-flight performance targets.”

The PurePower PW1000G demonstrator engine, with Pratt & Whitney’s patented Geared Turbofan technology, completed a 250-hour ground test program in May. The ground test program follows thousands of hours of development testing accumulated on 16 technology rigs at Pratt & Whitney and partner facilities around the world.

Airbus will be the first aircraft manufacturer to fly the PurePower PW1000G demonstrator engine on its own flight test aircraft. Test results will contribute to the company’s long-term research and technology assessment of new engine configuration developments. In 2007, Pratt & Whitney’s PurePower PW1000G engine was selected as the exclusive power for the new Mitsubishi Regional Jet and the Bombardier CSeries. The Mitsubishi Regional Jet program announced its first customer in March 2008, with an order from All Nippon Airways. The CSeries was launched in July 2008 with a letter of interest for up to 60 aircraft from Lufthansa. Both aircraft are scheduled to enter service in 2013.

The PW1000G engine uses a state-of-the-art gear system allowing the engine’s fan to operate at a different speed than the low-pressure compressor and turbine. The result is a step-change improvement in fuel efficiency and a slower fan speed for much lower noise. The PurePower PW1000G engine is an all new centerline engine that includes next generation technology in every major module. Pratt & Whitney has over 16,000 aircraft engines installed with hundreds of airlines around the world. Additionally, Pratt & Whitney is a leading participant in two joint venture companies that manufacture commercial aircraft engines: International Aero Engines, which makes the V2500 for the Airbus A320 family of aircraft, and the Engine Alliance, whose GP7200 engine is FAR 33 certified for the new Airbus A380.