Karen Walker

Louis Chênevert, president of Pratt & Whitney (P&W), has put the company on a five-year roadmap that sets some tough sales and financial goals.

This year the company is targeting a sales goal of $7.4 billion with operating profits of $1.2 billion ­ itself an aggressive target ­ by the end of 2004 the aim will be for P&W to be a $15 billion business with $2 billion profit.

But Chênevert is confident. "We are already on track to execute the plan faster than envisioned," he says.

"We have taken some dramatic steps to restructure the company and we have seen production volumes better than we had expected."

The re-invented engine manufacturer should have an upbeat show. Making its debut public appearance (at the United Technologies stand in Hall 4) will be the first experimental PW6000 engine, which will enter its flight test programme at the end of August. "This is the real deal," says Chênevert.

The PW6000 was launched last year and is the engine that put P&W back in the single aisle market. More than 100 engines have been ordered for the Airbus A318.

"Overall the engine is performing fabulously," says Chênevert. "We have some issues with the high pressure compressor and we are working on that to improve efficiency, but we are more than 50% there and over the next 60 days we will get 90% there.

If Pratt can develop the most advanced technology engine in the business ­ the F119 for the Lockheed Martin F-22 fighter, then we can certainly make this work."

Chênevert hints also that the company is planning to make a major announcement tomorrow at Farnborough concerning the regional jet market.


It is believed that P&W will reveal a demonstrator programme for an advanced technology geared-fan engine aimed at future RJ aircraft.

To date, the RJ market has been strongly dominated by General Electric with its CF34. Flight Daily News understands that P&W intends to challenge this position.

And while Chênevert says there will be no engine announcements during Farnborough relating to the opposite end of the market - the very large aircraft, the Airbus A3XX and the Boeing 747X ­- he believes industry observers will not have to wait too long.

"It will depend on how aggressive the aircraft development programmes are going to be," he says. But something could happen within 60 days after Farnborough."

Pratt has partnered with GE to compete for such aircraft sales with a new engine that will be developed under a joint venture company called Alliance.

The GP7000 will compete head to head in this market with the Rolls-Royce Trent 900. "GE and Pratt will bring the best technology to this programme," says Chênevert.

"This is a very aggressive technology programme and by bringing two to the party we have been able to give it the proper focus. It has worked very well and the response from the customer so far has been very positive."


But perhaps even more remarkable than the number of programmes that P&W is now embarked on is the fundamental changes that have taken place at the company itself.

Already, some 50% of Pratt employees who were based in Florida have been transferred to the Connecticut headquarters that the company can operate more efficiently from a single site. The re-location will be completed by the end of the year.

"We have taken the energy of the company that was scattered and combined it into a single entity," explains Chênevert. "From a technology point of view, it also gives us more flexibility when you have all your resources on one site.

"The people here are really getting energised as they are seeing the roadmap come together. We are getting good feedback from the customers, who says they now recognise P&W; we are leveraging the brand."

Source: Flight Daily News