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Airbus: Delivery of P&W 'golden' A320neo engine imminent

Airbus is expecting first delivery of the revamped Pratt & Whitney PW1100G powerplant to Lufthansa this week, enabling the airframer to start putting deliveries of the A320neo back on track.

Lufthansa has two A320neos in service, part of a broader fleet of eight aircraft with PW1100G engines which were delivered over the first half of the year.

But deliveries have been held up by efforts to correct engine start-up times, as well as other minor technical issues, leaving Airbus with some 25 undelivered A320neos at its production sites.

Airbus Group chief Tom Enders, speaking as the airframer disclosed its first-half results, said the first upgraded “golden engine” would be delivered to the German flag-carrier this week.

He stresses that the A320neo’s performance is “very good”, with a high dispatch reliability for the aircraft and engines.

P&W parent United Technologies’ chief Greg Hayes, speaking during a briefing on 26 July, said the technical problems were “in the rear-view mirror” and that the manufacturer was “exactly” aligned with the production plan submitted to Airbus earlier this year.

He says the geared turbofan powerplant – which also powers the Bombardier CSeries, Mitsubishi Aircraft MRJ and other types – has accumulated 5,000h in service with four operators, with a 99.8% dispatch reliability.

Hayes says the engine is “meeting commitments” on fuel-burn, noise and emission levels. The manufacturer expects to build 140 geared-turbofan engines in the second half – having produced 60 in the first, with 36 delivered to various aircraft platforms – to meet a target of 200 for the year.

Airbus has also just started delivering A320neos with the rival CFM International Leap-1A powerplant, with the first going to Turkish carrier Pegasus Airlines.

Enders says that two-thirds of the A320neo deliveries intended for the second half of this year will be P&W-equipped jets with the remaining one-third fitted with CFM engines.

Airbus chief financial officer Harald Wilhelm claims customers operating the P&W-powered A320neo are “extremely satisfied” with the performance data.

But with the ramp-up of A320neo production, the overall single-aisle rate increase, and the development of higher-density cabin capabilities on the family, Wilhelm says there is “a lot on the plate” for Airbus’s A320 management team, which will require “all hands on deck”.

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