Pratt & Whitney plans to choose the material for use in fan blades featured in its geared turbofan this year as the manufacturer readies for core testing in the same time period.

P&W vice president of marketing for commercial engines Mary Ellen Jones says the company had narrowed the materials to an advanced metal or composite. The advanced metal design is a P&W-patented technology.

The geared turbofan PW1000G demonstrator that completed testing last year featured titanium blades.

Previously, P&W has said core testing for the PW1000G would begin later this year. Features of the core include an advanced technology high-pressure compressor with cantilevered stators and shaft-tied rotors.

P&W continues to examine support packages for the PW1000G, says Jones. The company is evaluating adding its package to larger support programmes offered by Bombardier and Mitsubishi to customers, and is also talking to customers separately about a maintenance plan.

The PW1000G is powering both the Bombardier CSeries small airliner and Mitsubishi MRJ regional jet. Both new models are scheduled for service entry in 2013.

Source: Flight International