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Pratt plans performance upgrade for A320neo engine

Pratt & Whitney is developing an upgrade for the PW1100G geared turbofan that should reduce fuel consumption by 3% after 2019.

The manufacturer and its partners want to raise the aerodynamic efficiency of the Airbus A320neo engine through improved blade profiles and component contours, said MTU chief operating officer Rainer Martens at the German engine specialist’s annual results presentation in Munich on 18 February.

The component upgrade is currently under development and should be included in ground tests in 2016. Two years later, the engine manufacturer plans to begin flight tests, with entry into service due to follow “from 2019 onward”, says Martens.

The components will not become available for retrofit on existing PW1100G engines, but only be included in new-build engines.

While Pratt & Whitney aims to cut fuel consumption with the initial PW1100G by 15% over current-generation engines, the planned improvements will offer an additional reduction, bringing the total benefit to 18%.

MTU says component enhancement would in principle be available for the complete PW1000G family, which also includes engines for the Bombardier CSeries, Embraer’s E2 generation of E-Jets, the Mitsubishi Regional Jet and Irkut’s MC-21. However, the upgrade has thus far only been agreed with Airbus, adds MTU.

The certification programme for the initial PW1100G is progressing as planned, with the engine meeting its targets in terms of fuel consumption, noise and weight, says Martens. Five engines are involved in the approval process, one of which is running at MTU’s facility in Munich.

First flight for the A320neo is scheduled for the autumn of 2014.

Meanwhile, the PW1500G engines on the Bombardier CSeries are “satisfying all performance expectations” of launch customer Lufthansa during the aircraft's flight test programme, says MTU chief programme officer Michael Schreyogg.

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