PW800 core tests imminent: Pratt & Whitney

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Pratt & Whitney (P&W) is planning to conduct tests on the core of its PW800 PurePower turbofan engine "by the end of the year", according to senior marketing manager March Young.

Speaking on the fringes of the ERA General Assembly in Interlaken in Switzerland, Young revealed that the core test would involve an engine with an eight-stage high-pressure compressor (HPC) and two-stage high-pressure turbine (HPT), common to that which will be installed on the PW1000G geared turbofan for the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ). First flight of an MRJ is scheduled for 2012.

A demonstrator version of the PurePower engine, with a six-stage HPC and one-stage HPT, completed 250 hours of ground tests prior to being flight tested on Boeing 747SP and Airbus A340-600 test beds over the summer. The 44 hours it flew on the 747SP were spread across 12 flights. A further 76 hours were racked up over 27 flights on the A340-600.

The imminent PW800 tests will be conducted at Pratt & Whitney Canada's facilities in Longeuil, Quebec. They will explore the core's performance under varying conditions of pressure, temperature and stress.

"This will validate our design," says Young.