Airbus-owned A340 flies P&W geared turbofan engine

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An Airbus-owned A340 has embarked a 75 flight hour test programme for the Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1000G geared turbofan (GTF) engine.

The initial test flight for the engine demonstrator launched this afternoon from Toulouse. The A340 was still airborne as this article was published.

"Demonstrating the geared turbofan technology throughout its entire operating envelope using the Airbus A340 flight test aircraft will provide us with valuable installation and operating data to further evaluate the performance of the new engine architecture," says Todd Kallman, president, Pratt & Whitney Commercial Engines.

a340-600 gtf
 © Airbus

The A340 test programme follows a 43-hour, 12-flight evaluation on P&W's Boeing 747SP flying test bed. Including ground testing, the GTF programme had accumulated 306 total test hours as the A340 lifted off today, according to P&W's data.

The PW1000G has been selected as the exclusive engine to power the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) and the Bombardier CSeries family, which both enter service in 2013.

The engine features a gear system that allows the fan and low-pressure turbine to spin at optimized speeds, potentially reducing fuel burn and noise compared to conventional narrowbody and regional jet engines.

a340-600 gtf crew
 © Airbus