EAST HARTFORD -- Pratt & Whitney's geared turbofan demonstrator engine successfully completed its first ground test, ahead of schedule, at the company's advanced test facility in West Palm Beach, FL. The full-scale demonstrator engine successfully started and ran, marking the beginning of a ground test program that will run through May 2008. Pratt & Whitney is a division of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX).
"We are delighted to see our next generation geared turbofan engine successfully begin its validation testing program," says Bob Saia, vice president, Next Generation Product Family, Pratt & Whitney. "With more than 20 years of design, development and component rig testing, we are confident that this demonstrator engine will meet all performance expectations and validate the game-changing characteristics of the geared turbofan engine."
The geared turbofan engine is part of Pratt & Whitney's aggressive technology readiness program for the next generation of commercial aircraft. The company is actively testing key components on 15 test rigs around the world and flight testing on Pratt & Whitney's 747 flying test bed will begin in mid-2008.
The geared turbofan engine targets double-digit improvements in fuel burn with significant reductions in engine noise, environmental emissions and operating costs. In a geared turbofan engine, a state-of-the-art fan drivegear system allows the engine's fan to operate at a speed different from that of the low-pressure compressor and turbine, resulting in greater fuel efficiency and a slower fan speed, which results in less noise.
On October 9, 2007, Pratt & Whitney announced that the geared turbofan engine was selected by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. to power the new proposed Mitsubishi Regional Jet. The sole-source agreement is the first airframe application for the geared turbofan engine, which is scheduled to enter service in 2013.