Pratt & Whitney is aiming to begin flight-testing of the geared turbofan engine by the middle of this year after completing the second phase of ground tests for the powerplant.

This second phase, which started in April, encompassed 120h of testing including acoustic measurement of ground-level noise. This was achieved using microphone arrays around the powerplant test stand and transducers inside the engine.

Pratt & Whitney is expecting the geared turbofan to achieve noise levels 20dB lower than ICAO Stage 4 limits.

It says the engine has undergone 250h of tests since November last year. “The ground test programme has been a complete success and the geared turbofan engine has met or exceeded all performance targets,” says P&W vice-president for the next-generation product family Bob Saia.

Saia states that the demonstrator engine has confirmed laboratory results from the powerplant’s fan drive gear system. Flight testing will take place on a Boeing 747SP test aircraft in mid-year.

“Initial data from the ground acoustic testing show the geared turbofan engine is right on target,” adds Saia. “The ground test noise data will be compiled with flight-test measurements taken later this year to validate its noise signature.”

Source:'s sister premium news site Air Transport Intelligence news 

Source: Flight International