Geared fan architecture basis for new P&W-Rolls-Royce venture

Washington DC
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Any engine developed by the new Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce joint venture would feature a geared architecture, not a three-spool design, said the CFO of P&W parent company United Technologies.

The new powerplant "is not going to be a three-spool engine", and will instead focus its architecture around the geared system to reduce fan speed and optimise core efficiency, said UTC CFO Greg Hayes during the company's third quarter earnings call on 19 October.

The three-spool architecture, comprised of low, intermediate and high turbine and compressor sections is a hallmark of Rolls-Royce's high-bypass engine architecture and is featured on its latest Trent-series engine designs.

Hayes called the newly-announced partnership a "validation" of P&W's geared architecture engine, which is expected to debut in service on the Bombardier CSeries starting in 2013, followed by the Mitsubishi Regional Jet in 2014, Airbus A320neo in 2015 and Irkut MS-21 in 2016.

Pratt & Whitney announced its plans to acquire Rolls-Royce's share of the IAE joint venture on 12 October, while initiating a new venture with the UK-based engine-maker to develop a new mid-size engine for the 150 to 210-seat commercial market.

He added that P&W and Rolls-Royce will continue developing their technology platforms independently and "as soon as we have visibility on what the next aircraft is going to be" the partnership would see increased joint research and development spending.