This week's ahead-of-schedule test flight of a Boeing 757-300 equipped with Pratt & Whitney PW2043 engines is significant to the company for two reasons. It was the first test flight of that engine and airframe combination and secondly, the test-flight registration of the aircraft was chosen in memory of a Pratt & Whitney employee who died last year.

After the successful maiden test flight, the single-aisle aircraft embarks on a three-month programme that is scheduled to end in May with joint FAA/JAA certification. The B-757 is the first of 16 PW2040-powered -300s ordered last year by Northwest Airlines, the launch customer for the airframe/engine combination.

Boeing selected the test-flight aircraft registration number, N753JM, in honour of Jim MacKinnon, a 42-year Pratt & Whitney employee who died in September 2001. MacKinnon spent more than 15 years working on the PW2000 engine and worked directly with Boeing on the initial 757-300 design development.


"This is a moving gesture by Boeing," says Robert Leduc, president of Commercial Engines for Pratt & Whitney. "Since September, we have all missed Jim's in-depth knowledge, experience and fantastic spirit of embracing the customer. We are honoured to have this successful flight test carry his initials."

The PW2000 pioneered many of the innovations that today are used on almost all commercial engines, such as digital electronic engine controls. The PW2000 military model, the F117, powers the USAF's C-17 strategic airlifter.

At Asian Aerospace this week, Pratt & Whitney will be demonstrating a series of web-based initiatives designed to improve customer service. In addition, the company will display an array of commercial, military and general aviation engines.

Each day, company representatives will demonstrate the e-commerce tools that Pratt & Whitney designed for commercial and military customers around the world. A key part of the exhibit (Hall A/909) is a preview of futuristic maintenance devices designed to keep engines on-wing longer and shorten shop visits. Other web initiatives include:

The Customer Portal, that puts all the information that customers need to improve engine performance and streamline maintenance decisions, in one place. Pratt & Whitney EagleView, a suite of global systems providing standardised engine overhaul and part repair/availability status for all of the more than 25 Pratt & Whitney engine overhaul and parts repair centres around the world. The Inspection Workbench, that keeps customers in touch with critical issues related to their hardware by minimising the time needed to transmit findings, make maintenance decisions and provide guidance. The Live Borescope Web Conference that makes remote video borescope inspection possible with participants anywhere in the world. Military E-Business, a complete module designed to serve the special needs of military customers.

In addition to these daily demonstrations between Pratt & Whitney's display will feature the 112in (2.85m) fan PW4000, the new PW6000, the F100-PW-229 fighter engine and Pratt & Whitney Canada's new PW200, PW300 and PW500 engine families.

Source: Flight Daily News