P&W: CSeries fan excels in testing

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Pratt & Whitney says the new-development bi-metallic 18-blade fan for the PW1524G geared turbofan engine for the Bombardier CSeries airliner is demonstrating double-digit performance margins in initial engine-level testing.

The results are part of a comprehensive battery of tests at the company's West Palm Beach, Florida test site on the first of eight production configuration 24,000lb-thrust (107kN) engines to be used for internal evaluations and an 18-month certification programme due to be completed in 2012.

Bombardier plans to certificate in 2013 the first CSeries variant, the 110- to 125-seat CS100, with first deliveries later that year.

Engine one's primary use is for the investigation of low spool (fan, low-pressure compressor and low-pressure turbine) performance, a task that requires the measurement of nearly 3,000 parameters in about 100h of testing, says Bob Saia, P&W vice-president next-generation product family.

As of 29 November, engine one (S/N803) had accumulated 76h of the "first order performance" runs and tests were expected to be completed by mid-December.

While P&W had earlier measured fan aerodynamics on the titanium demonstrator engine and performed bird ingestion and blade-out tests on the fan by itself running at red-line speed in a test rig, the ongoing engine one trials are the first performance testing of the new fan in the "engine environment", says Saia.

"We've done flutter and operability testing at elevated pressure at a given airflow," Saia says. "We're seeing double-digit margins, which is above the design requirement."

P&W has also completed "a full survey" of the oil lubrication system and fuel management system on engine one including the fan gear drive system, which spins the fan at roughly one-third the speed of the low-pressure turbine.

Meanwhile, test engine 2, which will be instrumented for high spool data (high-pressure compressor and high-pressure turbine), and test engine 3, which will fly on the company's Boeing 747 testbed, are being assembled and will go into test "early" in 2011, says Saia. Assembly of test engine 4, which will be used for endurance testing, also starts in early 2011.