P&W readies for 2Q GTF testing in Mirabel

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Pratt & Whitney plans to conduct the first test flight on its flying test bed of the PW1500G engine powering the Bombardier CSeries during the second quarter of this year at the Mirabel Aerospace Centre in Montreal.

Operations on the flying test bed follows the launch of an eight engine validation and testing programme P&W began in September 2010, and the first engine has completed 150h of 200h of planned tests. Testing is scheduled to continue through March.

Elements of the test programme included a full structural evaluation of the engine up to rotor speed 5% above the red line speed of the engine's low turbine and fan drive gear system to clear certification requirements.

The basic architecture of the PW1000G line of engines rests on a gear system separating the engine fan from the low pressure compressor and turbine, which allows each module to operate at optimum speeds - the fan rotating at a lower speed and the low pressure compressor and turbine operating at higher speeds.

P&W states through the testing the manufacturer has verified overall engine characteristics, and "we have confirmed the projected fuel consumption efficiency", which the company has stated is 16% at an engine level, and 20% to 25% overall on a next generation aircraft such as the Mitsubishi Regional Jet and Bombardier's CSeries.

Other elements of the testing conducted with the first engine included noise and emissions testing and verification of the engine fuel and lubrication systems.