After a decade developing the technology, Pratt & Whitney launched its advanced technology fan integrator (ATFI) engine at Farnborough International 2000 yesterday. The technology will spawn a new family of geared turbo fans in the 10,000-19,000lb thrust (44.5-84.5kN) range and these could be flying in commercial service within 36 months of a formal programme launch.

The project will combine Pratt & Whitney Canada with its partners Fiat Avio (low pressure turbines) and MTU (gearboxes) from Italy and Germany respectively, with the advanced engine staff of US-based Pratt & Whitney and its Large Commercial Engines business. The ATFI demonstrator will run for the first time early next year while the first flight on a flying test bed ¡ based on the PW308 ¡ will follow later in the year.

P&W claims that after spending more than $700 million on research, it has now reached the point where a fan drive gear system can be built that will run 30,000h between overhauls ¡ while delivering a double-digit improvement in engine operating costs when compared with existing engines in the same thrust range.

Aimed fair and square at the under-100 passenger market, the new family of engines will be genuinely îgreen¹, says P&W Canada¹s chief executive Gilles Ouimet. "In the past, turbofan engines have always been a compromise between maximising the speed of the high pressure parts of the engine while not over-speeding the fan on the front ¡ hence the need for larger and larger fans." The new engine completes the P&W product line, bridging the gap between the PW300 series for small regional and business jets and the PW6000 family for the 100-passenger-and- above market.

Source: Flight Daily News