Airbus calm over CSeries geared-fan failure

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There is no immediate indication of concern within Airbus over the engine failure involving the Pratt & Whitney geared turbofan on a Bombardier CSeries test aircraft.

The re-engined A320neo, which is due to carry out its first flight in the fourth quarter of this year, will also use the PW1000G geared-fan technology.

Flight-testing of the CSeries has been suspended while the investigation into the 29 May failure, on the ground at Montreal, is investigated.

Airbus declines to comment on the CSeries inquiry beyond stating that it is a Pratt & Whitney and Bombardier affair, and adding: “Let’s give them some time to do their job investigating the issue before running into speculation.”

The CSeries uses the PW1500G engine while the A320neo will have a different version, the PW1100G. This variant of the A320neo will be developed first with the rival CFM International Leap-1A option to follow.

Although the reasons for the PW1500G incident have yet to become clear, sources familiar with the situation indicate that there is no evidence of a knock-on effect on the A320neo programme.

There is a roughly equal split between the two engine options for the type, each manufacturer having a share of around 31% with the outstanding balance undecided.

Boeing’s rival to the A320neo, the 737 Max, will be exclusively fitted with CFM Leap-1B engines but variants of the geared turbofan have been selected for the Embraer E-Jet E2 family, the Mitsubishi MRJ and the Irkut MC-21.