MTU branches into testing on A320neo engine

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German powerplant specialist MTU is increasing its participation in the Pratt & Whitney geared turbofan programme, by taking an 18% share of the PW1100G for the Airbus A320neo. Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries will also take part in the programme.

MTU agreed to take a 15% share of the geared turbofan effort in 2008, when the powerplant was focused on the Bombardier CSeries and Mitsubishi Regional Jet. This share will also increase, to 17%.

Under a new agreement with P&W, MTU will have responsibility for part of the final powerplant assembly and testing process for the A320neo's version of the engine, which MTU identifies as the PW1100G-JM.

This would amount to a "new role" for MTU in a high-volume commercial engine programme, it added. "We are very proud to have succeeded in increasing our programme share and taking on a major role in engine assembly," said chief executive Egon Behle. "Our participation in the geared turbofan engine programmes will be a major driver of future growth for MTU."

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, part of the Japanese Aero Engines Corporation consortium, will take on responsibility for the combustors and diffuser cases, which represent about 2.3% of the development. The agreement will bring the Japanese consortium's share - which includes development of fans and low-pressure compressors - to 23%.

NICKEL BLISKS

MTU is handling the low-pressure turbines and will co-operate with P&W on the high-pressure compressors, supplying the first four stages, as well as providing brush seals and manufacturing of nickel blisks, in addition to the new test work.

P&W will deal with the remaining part of the engine, notably the high-pressure turbines, as well as systems integration. IndiGo and Lufthansa, plus lessors International Lease Finance and CIT, have opted for the P&W engine on 270 A320neo-family jets.