Despite impressive claims about the PW1000G geared turbofan's fuel burn, Pratt & Whitney executives have been reluctant to disclose specific details about the new engine's likely maintenance cost savings.
P&W says that the GTF typically offers a 12% reduction in fuel burn, and a new brochure produced for Farnborough claims "double-digit reduction in maintenance costs".
However, speaking to Flight International, P&W Commercial Engines vice-president marketing Mary Ellen Jones declined to confirm the brochure claims about maintenance costs: "Maintenance numbers are very heavily negotiated and vary depending on operating environment and mission," she says.
The issue of GTF maintenance costs is understood to have been a sticking point for negotiations with customers over potential deals for the Bombardier CSeries, which received its first launch commitments from Lufthansa last week for up to 60 aircraft.
"The PW1000G has 1,500 fewer aerofoils than today's engines, so we see good potential to have lower maintenance costs," says Jones. "We're confident we're going to have very competitive maintenance costs."
Jones says that the GTF's gearbox is not life-limited, and its initial time-on-wing will be around 20,000h and "close to that for subsequent shop visits".
P&W has held a lot of meetings with airlines about the maintenance planning for the new engine, says Jones. She adds that the company will manage the overall maintenance and support of the GTF in-house and is considering the creation of a global network of maintenance partners.