Pratt & Whitney and Alcoa have sealed a partnership that underpins the PW1000G geared turbofan (GTF) engine programme – by signing a 10-year, $1.1 billion deal for cast aluminium fan blades.

The blades at the front end of GTF are a key driver of its efficiency, because they are thinner and less expensive than can made with composites at a comparable weight. Alcoa bills the blades as the world’s first in forged aluminium-lithium and are manufactured using a proprietary process.

The PW1100G engine is scheduled for entry into service in late 2015 with the Airbus A320neo.

Under the deal, signed at Farnborough by Alcoa head Klaus Kleinfeld and his opposite number at P&W Paul Adams, will also see the metals specialist supply the manufacturer with metallic components for International Aero Engines V2500 and Engine Alliance GP7200 powerplants, as well as engines for other regional jets and military aircraft.

Source: Flight Daily News