P&W rules out any early move to offer GTF architecture for widebody powerplant

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Pratt & Whitney has ruled out any near-term development of a high-thrust development of its GTF geared turbofan engine to power widebody aircraft like the Airbus A350 XWB, as it wants to initially focus on thrust levels below 40,000lb (178kN).

P&W vice-president next generation product family Bob Saia says that while he sees "no thrust limitations" for its GTF architecture "unfortunately, for a programme like the A350, we're not ready to develop that large an engine with this technology".

Saia says that while P&W envisages "being able to take this architecture up to 70,000 80,000 and 90,000lb thrusts, today all our testing has been done at or below 40,000lb, so we would prefer to launch this product in a market environment where we have actual data.

"So for now we want to focus on the 14-40,000lb thrust class," he says.

Saia revealed at the Farnborough air show last year that P&W had been approached by an unnamed aircraft manufacturer to study a GTF application for a widebody aircraft. Saia says now that was for a potential application in the 2025 timeframe and that the A350, which is due to enter service in 2013, is too early for the technology.

"We envision that in 10 or 15 years from now when the big widebodies are being replaced, we'll be ready for that," he says.