Bombardier believes A320neo heightens GTF credibility

Washington DC
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Bombardier believes the selection by Airbus of the Pratt & Whitney PW1000G geared turbofan engine (GTF) as one of two powerplant choices for the A320neo widens the credibility of the GTF.

Bombardier Aerospace president Guy Hachey provided that assessment during the company's third quarter earnings call with analyst and investors, explaining Bombardier in a way is "sort of delighted" another airframer has endorsed the PW1000G.

Airbus is the fourth manufacturer to select the PW1000G, joining Bombardier, Irkut and Mitsubishi in selecting the engine.

Hachey explains the PW1000G during the last year had steadily eroded doubt that the powerplant was just a paper engine, and the selection by Airbus "should put an end to speculation" over the engine's credibility.

Bombardier is also "glad" that one potential competitor to the CSeries has cleared up uncertainty over its response to the 110-149 seat CS100 and CS300 aircraft, says Hachey.

Airbus has stated the A320neo could deliver fuel savings of up to 15%, but Hachey explains that while the PW1000G offers a 15% decrease in specific fuel consumption, in a "real world" operation a certain percentage of that amount must be deducted. Pointing to the PW1000G's heavier weight compared to current engines powering the A320 family, Hachey says changes are necessary to existing aircraft to handle the engine, including adding weight to the wing. The Sharklets Airbus plans to offer on the A320neo also create more load on the wing, Hachey explains.

Taking those factors into account Hachey believes the 15% improvement offered in specific fuel consumption from the PW1000G "becomes half on a fuel burn basis".

With the clean-sheet CSeries, Bombardier designed the wing specifically for the engine, says Hachey.

Hachey maintains that the CSeries still enjoys a double-digit advantage over the A320neo in fuel burn and cash operating costs, but admits the margin "is less than yesterday [when Airbus launched the A320neo]".

Bombardier's biggest concern with regard to the CSeries is "keeping the programme on time", says Hachey, explaining that will be a "differentiator for us".