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P&W keen to work with Comac on future aircraft

Pratt & Whitney is continuing discussions with Comac on the possible application of its geared turbofan (GTF) on future developments of the Chinese airframer's range.

These include variants of its ARJ21 regional jet, as well as a widebody aircraft, P&W president David Hess tells Flightglobal.

"Comac has asked that we continue to keep them updated on the progress of the GTF," says Hess. "They're very excited about the technology and new engine and we've been engaged with them in a number of studies on the application of the GTF on some of the future aircraft they are looking at."

Discussions, however, are still in the early stages as Comac is still working on its strategy, and is also focused on the development of its C919 narrowbody, says Hess.

The C919 is powered exclusively by the CFM International Leap-1C engines, while the ARJ21 uses General Electric CF34-10A powerplants.

The Chinese airframer, however, also want to develop their own alternative powerplant for the C919.

With multiple variants of the C919 and ARJ21 still on the drawing boards, Comac continues to seek engine options beyond the offerings from CFM and GE.

"This business with Comac is very important. It's clear that they are going to be a big player in future in the original equipment manufacturer business," says Hess. "It's unfortunate we missed the first aircraft, but we know it's not going to be their last and there will be others, and we want to be with them in the future."

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