Farnborough News: Pratt & Whitney Announces New Geared Turbofan Technology Partnerships

MTU Aero Engines, based in Munich, Germany, and Pratt & Whitney are working closely to develop new, scalable common engine core technology for the 90 to 200 passenger commercial and military markets.


LONDON, July 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- FARNBOROUGH AIRSHOW -- Pratt & Whitney, a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) company, today announced the formation of strategic relationships with MTU Aero Engines, Avio and VolvoAero for continued development of key Geared Turbofan (GTF) engine technologies.

The Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan engine represents a step-change in commercial engine performance for single-aisle aircraft. The expected benefits will include up to a 12 percent improvement in fuel efficiency and a 30-decibel noise reduction over Stage III requirements. A ground demonstration test is planned in the third quarter 2007 and a flight demonstration test in 2008.

"Our market research had indicated that customers of the next generation single-aisle aircraft will be equally focused on engine performance and cost of operation," said Steve Heath, president, Pratt & Whitney Commercial Engines. "Pratt & Whitney, together with our business partners, MTU, Avio and Volvo Aero, are committed to developing and maturing the Geared Turbofan technology in advance of the next generation single-aisle aircraft."

MTU Aero Engines, based in Munich, Germany, and Pratt & Whitney are working closely to develop new, scalable common engine core technology for the 90 to 200 passenger commercial and military markets. The common core components include development of new high-pressure compressor and high-speed, low-spool turbine technologies.

"MTU and Pratt & Whitney have a long history of working together on the development of innovative new engine technology, including on the recently certified PW6000," said Heath. "MTU brings extensive compressor design and integrally bladed rotor (IBR) experience to the Geared Turbofan technology development program, and we are excited to have them onboard.

This new technology will increase the reliability and maintainability of the engine while reducing fuel consumption and the overall cost of ownership."

Moreover Pratt & Whitney finalized an agreement with Avio, headquartered in Torino, Italy, for the development and manufacturing of the advanced fandrive gear system for the GTF ground and flight test demonstrator. The GTF development program is taking advantage of Avio's capabilities for the design and prototyping of power transmission gearboxes and particularly of geared fan transmission systems. This system is a critical part of the Geared Turbofan technology; it enables the fan to operate at optimal speeds independent of the low-pressure compressor and turbine. "The optimization of the fan speed results in significantly lower noise emissions and an increased bypass ratio, which contributes to greater fuel efficiency gains for the customer," said Heath.

Volvo Aero, of Trollhattan, Sweden, brings expertise in turbine exhaust case technology to the Geared Turbofan development. "The turbine exhaust case is the rear structural mounting point of the engine to the aircraft wing and is critical to stabilizing the airflow from the engine," said Heath.

Pratt & Whitney has more than 17,000 aircraft engines in service with hundreds of airlines around the world. Additionally, Pratt & Whitney is a leading partner in two joint venture companies to manufacture commercial aircraft engines: the International Aero Engines (IAE) V2500, which operates on the Airbus A320 family of aircraft, and the Engine Alliance (EA) GP7200 engine, FAR 33 certified on the new Airbus A380.

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