Pratt & Whitney has gone on the counter-offensive by launching its PurePower engines, claiming they offer “double-digit improvements in fuel burn; environmental emissions; engine noise and operating costs”.
P&W has clearly been stung by GE, Rolls-Royce, Snecma – and even CFM – questioning the long-term viability of its geared turbofan (GTF) technology. Amid considerable hoopla and smoke at the company’s stand in Hall 4, P&W president Steve Finger unveiled models of the PurePower PW1000G, formerly GTF, and PurePower PW800 engines, previously known simply as PW800.
“Airlines and business aircraft customers want pure engine solutions that deliver economic and environmental benefits without compromises,” says Finger. “P&W PurePower engines employ game-changing technologies to deliver step-change improvements, not in 2016 or 2020 - but now.”
This was a clear reference to yesterday’s announcement from CFM that it is to research and build a new single-aisle sized engine named Leap-X for certification in 2016 (with a little help from its joint owners GE and Snecma) and use the technology to develop an open rotor power-plant too, with 2020 as the time-frame for engine certification.
With the first PurePower engines due to enter service in 2013, P&W says a new standard will be set for all future engines to build upon, including double-digit improvements in fuel burn, environmental emissions and engine noise, while bringing value to airlines and operators with again a double-digit reduction in operating costs.
The PW1000G engine is the exclusive power for the new Mitsubishi Regional Jet (15-17,000lb thrust) and the Bombardier CSeries (24,000lb thrust), while the PW810C engine has been selected by Cessna to power the Citation Columbus business jet that will enter service in 2014, a year after the two new RJs.
The PW1000G flew on-wing for the first time just before Farnborough, mounted on P&W’s B747SP test-bed, and it will also fly on an Airbus-owned A340 before the end of the year. And P&W has confirmed that one of the major airframers has made an approach, asking the company to conduct studies for a widebodied GTF application.
Speaking at Farnborough yesterday, Bob Saia, VP for P&W’s next generation product family, said the engine would be a PW4000 replacement in the 60,000 to 100,000lb thrust range for a 250-passenger aircraft or larger. Saia declined to specify which manufacturer, Airbus or Boeing, had commissioned the study.