Early-build GTF to fly after positive testing

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Pratt & Whitney is to send its second test example of the PW1524G geared turbofan to flight testing, rather than the third, such have been the positive results from newly completed ground testing.

The manufacturer finished ground tests of the powerplant, designed for the Bombardier CSeries, at its West Palm Beach facility, and its data confirms the engine "continues to exceed expectations".

First-engine-to-test assessment, which has totalled nearly 200h of run time since the beginning in September, ran several weeks longer than initially planned. "It tested longer than we initially anticipated because it was running well, so we took advantage of that to do as much testing as possible," says P&W.

P&W says the second PW1524G prototype, which is nearing completion in the company's Connecticut facility, will be shipped to West Palm Beach in "the next couple of weeks" for ground testing there.

pratt & whitney pw1524g, pratt & whitney/rick koehler
 © Pratt & Whitney/Rick Koehler

"Since the test of engine one went so well, we advanced the performance engine, which was initially to be engine three, to engine two," says the manufacturer.

Special instrumentation that was scheduled to be installed in the high-pressure compressor and high-pressure turbine of engine two will instead be installed on number three. Engine three will then be tested in Connecticut owing to the limited number of test stands available in West Palm Beach.

Once engine two ground testing is complete, the engine will be transferred to P&W's Mirabel Aerospace Centre in Quebec for flight testing on the company's Boeing 747SP testbed beginning in the middle of the year.

The first engine-to-test will be shipped to company's new icing and environmental research centre in Manitoba for icing trials. P&W's next-generation product family vice-president, Bob Saia, says testing "has validated overall engine operational characteristics, including component design, rotor dynamic and engine fuel and lubrication systems".

Engine certification of the 23,300lb (104kN) PW1524G and first flight of the CSeries are both expected in 2012.

Bombardier expects to certificate the first CSeries variant, the 110- to 125-seat CS100, in 2013, with first deliveries later that year. The geared turbofan engine family has been selected for the Mitsubishi Regional Jet, the Airbus A320neo and Russia's United Aircraft MS-21.