Transport Canada clears CSeries engine for flight testing

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Pratt & Whitney has achieved the first type certification for a member of the PurePower PW1000G geared turbofan family of engines, and moved the Bombardier CSeries closer to a first flight milestone by the end of June.

Transport Canada's approval means the 23,000lb thrust (102kN) PW1500G engine is considered airworthy as a standalone system, which often marks one of the last steps before the aircraft it powers is ready to fly.

Bombardier delayed first flight of the CSeries last year by six months to late June, with entry into service also delayed from late 2013 to 2014. Bombardier noted that the readiness of the engine was one of the reasons for the delay, but P&W later said that the engine programme was still on track.

"We are very pleased with the engine's performance and the overall, steady progress of the CSeries aircraft programme," says Rob Dewar, Bombardier's vice president and general manager for the CSeries.

Last month, Bombardier releases pictures showing that the first CS100 flight test vehicle was nearly assembled. Since October, Bombardier had attached the wings and the tail to the centre fuselage. Bombardier has not disclosed the status of the Parker Aerospace-supplied fly-by-wire system since July. For P&W, achieving type certification on the PW1500G is the first of six currently in the pipeline for the PurePower engine family. Other versions of the engine spanning a thrust range between 15,000lb and 33,000lb have been selected by Airbus, Embraer, Irkut and Mitsubishi for new or re-engined narrowbodies.

Each member of the PurePower engine family integrates a reduction gear that decouples the rotation speed of the inlet fan and low-pressure turbine, allowing P&W to widen the diameter of the fan and increase the volume of air bypassing the core. The higher bypass ratio translates into greater fuel efficiency, and P&W claims a "double-digit" improvement over a existing conventional engines.

In addition to the gear, P&W designed the PurePower around two new engine cores featuring higher compression and advanced cooling tecniques to allow the metal components to cope with the higher temperatures. The PW1500G and the PW1200G for the Mitsubishi Regional Jet share the smaller of the two cores, along with the PW1700G and PW1900G selected by Embraer for the second-generation E-Jet. Airbus and Irkut are relying on the larger core for the A320neo's PW1100G and the MS-21's PW1400G, respectively.

P&W also says the PW1500 has validated the 50% noise reduction goal set in 2007 for the PW1500.