Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) is pinning its long-term hopes of finding a civil launch platform for the PW800 geared turbofan on the next generation of large regional jets or corporate aircraft, while simultaneously looking at a military application for unmanned combat air vehicles as well as a proposed PW180 turboprop derivative.

P&WC had been targeting the planned Russian Regional Jet as the only real near-term civil opportunity for launching the 12,000-20,000lb thrust range (53-89kN) engine, but Sukhoi in concert with partner Boeing are understood to have chosen the competing Snecma SM146 (Flight International, 21-27 January). The company is nonetheless continuing to invest in the engine under the Advanced Technology Fan Integration demonstration.

"We've put a lot of effort into the low spool demonstration of the geared fan. We keep investing and believe there are real opportunities and want to keep the doors open. Immediate applications are rather limited, but we're working the programme for the long term," says Alain Bellemare, P&WC president and chief executive.

The company is focusing the PW800 on "four or five niches", including large corporate aircraft in the class of the Bombardier Global Express or Gulfstream G550, and future follow-on 50- to 100-seat regional jets to the Bombardier CRJ series and Embraer ERJ-145.

The PW800 is designed to offer improved performance and lower weight, noise and emissions compared to existing regional jet engines.

Source: Flight International