EAST HARTFORD, CN -- Pratt & Whitney has successfully completed Phase I sea-level performance and acoustic testing on the full-scale Geared Turbofan demonstrator engine ahead of schedule. The engine will now be configured with the flight nacelle system for Phase II ground testing beginning in April in preparation for flight testing on Pratt & Whitney's 747SP flying test bed in mid-2008. Pratt & Whitney is a division of United Technologies Corp.
"The Geared Turbofan engine's performance has been outstanding and all initial test results have validated the game-changing benefits of this new product," says Bob Saia, vice president, Pratt & Whitney Next Generation Product Family. "The initial results surpassed our pre-test predictions, demonstrating the fuel burn, noise and emissions characteristics of this new architecture. We look forward to fully analyzing all of the data from these initial tests and entering into the next phase of the development program."
The Geared Turbofan demonstrator engine has logged a total of 130 hours since ground testing began in November 2007. Running from idle to full power, Phase I testing validated the design of the fan, low pressure compressor, fan drive gear system and thermal management system to demonstrate the Geared Turbofan engine's operational efficiency.
"Testing conducted to validate the thermal management system showed engine operating temperatures cooler than predicted," adds Saia. "These test results will enable our design engineers to optimize the thermal management system to further reduce weight and simplify placement of external accessories on the engine."
Phase II of the Geared Turbofan engine's ground test program will continue in West Palm Beach, FL, through May before being installed on Pratt & Whitney's 747SP flying test bed for flight testing.
The Geared Turbofan demonstrator engine is part of Pratt & Whitney's overall technology readiness program to power the next generation of commercial aircraft. The company is actively testing key components of the Geared Turbofan engine on 15 test rigs worldwide. The Geared Turbofan engine is expected to set new standards in environmental and operational engine performance.
In 2007, Pratt & Whitney's Geared Turbofan engine was selected as the exclusive power for the new Mitsubishi Regional Jet and the Bombardier CSeries. If launched, both aircraft are scheduled to enter service in 2013.
In a Geared Turbofan engine, a state-of-the-art gear system allows the engine's fan to operate independent of the low-pressure compressor and turbine, resulting in greater fuel efficiency and a slower fan speed for less noise. The Geared Turbofan engine builds on more than 20 years of technology development with improvements in every major module.
Pratt & Whitney has over 17,000 aircraft engines installed with hundreds of airlines throughout the world. Additionally, Pratt & Whitney is a leading partner 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.