RTX estimates that the number of jets grounded by subsidiary Pratt & Whitney’s recall of its geared turbofans (GTFs) has peaked, though executives on 23 April provided few details about the degree of disruption caused.

Speaking during RTX’s first-quarter earnings call, president and incoming chief executive Chris Calio did not say how many aircraft are currently parked as a result of the GTF problem, which involves potentially defective metallic components.

But he insists fallout from the issue remains within RTX’s expectations and says P&W has now reached compensation agreements with nine GTF customers.

PW1100G on A320neo.

Source: Airbus

The majority of grounded GTF-powered jets have been Airbus A320neo-family aircraft with PW1100Gs

“We are essentially at peak AOG,” Calio says, meaning that the number of “aircraft on ground” due to the issue has now reached the highest level expected by the company.

RTX still expects an average of about 350 aircraft will be parked at any given time between now and the end of 2026 due to the problem.

P&W last year began recalling GTFs – including the Airbus A320neo-family’s PW1100G, the A220’s PW1500G and the Embraer E-Jet E2’s PW1900G – for early inspections. The FAA has since mandated repeated inspections.

Components within the engines – including high-pressure turbine and high-pressure compressor disks – might be defective due to a powder-metal manufacturing issue.

While RTX executives do not disclose the number of jets now grounded for inspections, Cirium data shows that 637 GTF-powered aircraft were parked as of 1 April – hinting at the scope of the disruptions. That figure is imprecise because it includes jets parked for reasons other than engine inspections.

RTX reported on 23 April that P&W turned a $412 million operating profit in the first quarter, down 1% year on year. Its sales jumped 23% year on year, to $6.5 billion. The engine maker shipped 232 large commercial aircraft engines, including GTFs, in the first quarter, down from 256 deliveries in the three months ended 31 December.

Calio says all new GTFs now being delivered by P&W have full-life (meaning non-defective) high-pressure turbine disks and high-pressure compressor disks. The company has also started installing full-life disks in some of the engines pulled from service for inspections. Engines with full-life parts are not requitred to undergo repeated inspections.

But Calio declines to specify how many engines have been returned to customers will full-life parts.

“There haven’t been a tonne that have received all of those things,” he says, adding P&W will ramp up availability of those “full-life insertion parts” this year and next.

RTX has said the inspections will require affected jets be grounded for 250-300 days, though Calio clarifies that sometimes includes days waiting for maintenance availability.

“I’m not going to get into the specific numbers,” he says when asked about how many aircraft are sitting idle waiting for a maintenance slot. “When you look at the extended turnaround time that we have talked about, engines coming off [aircraft] today are going to have to wait a bit until they do get inducted.”