Pratt & Whitney approached for new high thrust GTF widebody engine


FARNBOROUGH – Pratt & Whitney has been approached by an unspecified manufacturer to conduct an initial study for a Geared Turbofan engine for a widebody application.

Vice President for P&W’s Next Generation Product Family, Bob Saia tells FlightBlogger that the engine would be a PW4000 replacement in the 60,000 to 100,000 lb thrust range for a 250 passengers and above aircraft. Saia declined to specify which manufacturer, Airbus or Boeing, had commissioned the study.

Saia added that the request was for the 2020 or 2025 time frame, though Steve Finger, President of Pratt & Whitney, said in a separate interview that a PW4000 replacement could be ready as early as 2017 or 2018 if required.

“We think it will be about the end of the next decade – 2017 or 2018 – before we are ready to offer a geared turbofan in that thrust size,” said Finger.

Saia emphasized the growth potential for the newly launched PW1000G family of engines. The gearbox permits for the optimization of the large diameter fan and engine core to maximize fuel burn and reduce noise.

Pratt & Whitney added that the application was not a second engine option on the Airbus A350 XWB.

Potential applications include a refresh or full replacement for Boeing’s 777 family or a Airbus’ A330. The PW4000 engine is offered currently on both 777 and A330 aircraft. Placing a geared turbofan engine on an A330 replacement or refresh would fill a gap in Airbus’s product line between the A321 and A350-800, 185 to 270 seats for the next decade.