(clarifies maintenance costs)

Maintenance of the gearbox for Pratt & Whitney's PW1000G geared turbofan accounts for roughly 2% of the engine's maintenance costs, but the manufacturer explains that is offset by fuel savings and weight reduction from fewer aerofoils in the engine's design, resulting in overall lower maintenance costs.

During a briefing at the ALTA 2009 Airline Leaders Forum in Cartagena, Colombia, P&W director of marketing Paul Finklestein outlined the maintenance sequence for the gear. During the first shop visit only an inspection is required. At the second visit, maintenance of the gearbox includes stripping and recoating.

P&W's geared turbofan design features a 1,500 aerofoil reduction in the engine's core and a removal of three stages in the low-pressure turbine, which counters the increased costs in maintaining the gearbox, says Finklestein. He explains the "geared architecture is lower in maintenance than a conventional direct drive engine".

The engine has been selected to power the Bombardier CSeries airliner and Mitsubishi MRJ regional jet. P&W has advertised a 12:1 bypass ratio for the PW1000G designated to power the CSeries, which should result in a decrease in fuel burn of up to 15%.

Source: Flight International