By Geoff Thomas
Pratt & Whitney’s president, Steve Finger, is bullish about the future saying that “It’s a great time to be at P&W and we’ll build on that.
“What I see is P&W leading the industry charge. The work we’ve put in is paying off and P&W has been the fastest-growing engine company over the past three years with growth of 48% on the top line…and 67% on the bottom line”.
He continues: “What is the industry talking about currently? In my view it’s VLJs – where P&W is dominant with the PW600 family of engines – and fifth generation fighters where the F119 and F135 engines are in place on the F22 Raptor and JSF respectively.
“And then there’s the next generation of commercial aircraft where P&W’s geared turbo fan (GTF) engine is – I believe – the only workable solution over the next 15 to 20 years.”
Following IATA director general and CEO Giovanni Bisignani’s much-vaunted comments at the organisation’s AGM and summit in Vancouver a couple of weeks ago, that the world should produce a carbon-neutral, zero emissions passenger aircraft by 2050, Steve Finger’s comments are even more relevant.
“Our job is not to guess the date – but to have a solution whenever it’s requested by the airframers,” he said.
“Our technology demonstrator will run in November this year and a full-scale version of the GTF engine could be ready to enter service by 2012/2013.”
According to Finger, these engines – running on a single-aisle narrow-body aircraft – would save in the region of 3,500 tonnes of CO2 per year, the equivalent to around 300 acres of trees.
He continues: “And it’s not just the fuel saving that’s compelling for airlines.
“We are going to be under greater pressure from carbon taxes and good citizen schemes. But it might not stop there with taxes and pressure from environmentalists. We could even see a limitation on the number of flights.”
P&W is also putting its money where its environmental mouth is – by offering airlines prizes of its ECO-Powerwash product, worth a total of $200,000. The draw will be during the Paris airshow at Le Bourget – so watch this space!