MTU Aero Engines has agreed to take a 15% stake in Pratt & Whitney's next generation of civil engines, including the Geared Turbofan. The German manufacturer developed the high-speed low-pressure turbine for P&W's GTF demonstrator engine, now in ground test.

Under the agreement, MTU will share in design and manufacturing of Pratt & Whitney Canada's new PWX10 10,000lb thrust-class engine as well as the 15,000-17,000lb-thrust GTF selected for the Mitsubishi Regional Jet and the 23,000lb-thrust GTF chosen for the Bombardier CSeries airliner.

The agreement is subject to launch of the aircraft programmes. The 70/90-seat MRJ and 110/130-seat CSeries are both scheduled for launch in 2008 and entry into service in 2013. P&WC's PWX10 engine is being offered to power new business jets to enter service from 2012.

PW GTF demo no nacelle
P&W's GTF demonstrator                                   © Pratt & Whitney

MTU will also provide research and development funding for each of the engines, says P&W. Financial and manufacturing details of the agreement have not been disclosed, but MTU says it "intends to participate with modules according to its core competencies".

The Munich-based company has a long association with P&W, and manufactures the high-pressure compressor and low-pressure turbine for the PW6000 as well as assembling and maintaining the engine, which powers the Airbus A318. MTU also supplies the LP turbine for P&WC's PW300 and PW500 families of business-jet engines.

MTU forecasts sales of almost 4,000 engines in the 10,000lb thrust-class, 1,500 GTFs in the 15,000-17,000lb class and 3,000 GTFs in the 23,000lb class, which it estimates will be worth some €12 billion over the life of the programmes.

P&W says it is in talks with other partners on the new engines. Avio and Volvo Aero have supplied components of the GTF demonstrator, which began ground runs at P&W's West Palm Beach, Florida test site in November.