Pratt & Whitney is marketing an upgrade on its PW4000 engines that power Airbus A330s. The upgrade, to be available in 2008, will improve engine performance, increase durability and reduce maintenance costs.
P&W says the upgrade to the PW4168 engine will give airlines the lowest operating costs on the A330.
The modification includes a package of technology enhancements. A new high-pressure compressor (HPC) ring case - based on the designs used on other PW4000 models that power Boeing 747s and 777s –will both lower fuel consumption and extend maintenance intervals. And new high-pressure turbine (HPT) technologies will improve the life of this key module and extend the engine’s time on wing. An improved combustor will further improve durability.
Software enhancements will also be offered. An improved full-authority digital electronic control (FADEC) system will allow pilots more flexibility in take-off and climb thrust power, better to match engine thrust with specific flight requirements. Similarly, an upgrade to P&W’s advanced diagnostic engine management (ADEM) capability will better analyse engine performance data, providing input for more effective maintenance planning.
P&W plans to certificate this upgrade package with the US Federal Aviation Administration in 2008. At that time, production engines will incorporate these upgrade features and kits will be available for engines now in service for incorporation at the next heavy maintenance shop visit.
The PW4168A, one of the PW4000 growth models, was designed specifically for the A330. Today, there are more than 2,700 PW4000 family engines in service with 90 million hours cumulative service experience.