Pratt & Whitney Canada president Alain Bellemare is keeping a close watch on the global economy, but all the company’s market segments are showing increased volumes. He says: “We are also monitoring the high fuel prices but overall we’re very pleased with progress and looking forward to further success in the future.”
Preliminary design for the PW810, selected by Cessna Aircraft to power its new large-cabin Citation Columbus business aircraft, has been completed, and P&WC engineers are now entering into the detail design of various components with collaboration from suppliers and other partners.

Detailed design work is underway as well as advanced production preparations for the all-new PW810 engine, just five months after the official launch of its 10,000lb thrust-class PW800 engine family. And Bellemare says P&WC is taking part in several other “non-public competitions, where the PW800 family of engines could provide an ideal power solution”.

First run of the PW810 is being targeted for mid-2009 while the Citation Columbus is expected to enter service in 2014. It is designed for intercontinental travel with a target range of 4,000nm (7,408km) at Mach 0.80 carrying eight passengers.

Another major project that is moving towards fruition is the PW210 for the Sikorsky S76D helicopter. Bellemare says this is due for certification ahead of schedule in Q1 2009, having racked-up more than 1,000 flying hours.

The PW307B engine, announced earlier this year for the all-new composite Bombardier Learjet 85, features P&WC’s Talon advanced combustor technology, which significantly outperforms ICAO standards by more than 30% for nitrous oxide emissions. The engine is also designed for low noise and meets Zurich 5 requirements for zero surcharge fees. Says Bellemare: “In addition to the advanced technologies built into the PW307B, the engine incorporates more than 6.5 million hours of PW300 family flying experience.”

 Alain Bellemare

In the spring of 2006, P&WC inaugurated the innovative PW600 assembly and test facility at its main manufacturing site in Longueuil, Quebec and there are now around 2,000 orders in the pipeline for this family of engines. Average build-time is currently between 11 and 12 hours, although Bellemare says: “It’s relatively simple to reduce this to 8h if required.”

Conscious of the recent massive increases in the cost of fuel, Bellemare says interest in the PW100 family of turboprop engines is showing “a lot of strength”, with the EADS ATR 42/72 and Bombardier Aerospace Q Series Dash-8 leading the way.

“For airlines and passengers prepared to sacrifice some speed, these are incredibly ‘green’ aircraft with a very low carbon footprint. The only people who really kept believing in turboprop-powered commercial regional airliners was us,” he says, “and those who used to laugh are not laughing any more because our engines provide operators with around 40% better fuel burn than comparably-sized RJs.”

Bellemare says he is totally convinced that the GTF is the solution that will be chosen by the airframers when they decide to replace their current single-aisle aircraft in the 2015/2020 timeframe.

“Turbofan engines have, on average, become 1% more efficient year-on-year but the GTF will be game-changing. Along with our parent company in the USA, we will produce more efficient high pressure and low pressure modules, using the most advanced technology, and come up with the optimum ‘work split’ between the two sections.”

This, he believes, is the key to producing an engine architecture that will be world-beating in terms of power output, environmental friendliness and SFC. The battle lines are being drawn up, although it remains to be seen whether the GTF or the ‘open rotor’ solution emerges triumphant. Maybe they’ll both have a role to play as the industry moves into the third decade of the 21st century?

Source: Flight International