Pratt & Whitney Canada is preparing to run a core technology demonstrator for the PW800 engine and is aiming the 10,000-20,000lb thrust (45-89kN) turbofan at unmanned air vehicle applications after failing to launch the engine on either the Chinese or Russian regional jets or, in turboprop form, on the Airbus Military A400M transport.

The Canadian company will supply the PW800 core to Pratt & Whitney for its $12.7 million US Navy contract to demonstrate engine technologies for UAV applications. "We will keep up our pace of investment in the PW800, helped by the UAV contract," says Alain Bellemare, P&WC president. He does not expect other regional-jet applications for the engine to emerge before the end of the decade. "But, in the short term, the UAV potential is there."

First run of the Snecma/NPO Saturn SM146 engine, selected over the PW800 to power the Russian Regional Jet (RRJ), is planned for early 2005, leading to certification in mid-2006, says Snecma president Jean-Paul Herteman. Development of the all-new 14,000-17,0000lb-thrust engine will cost $400 million, funded equally by the two partners, says Saturn general director Yuri Lastochkin.

Snecma and Saturn will set up a joint venture to handle the project, including design, manufacturing and sales, Lastochkin says. Final assembly will be in Russia, and Herteman says Snecma will subcontract some of its share of the engine to Russian companies to reduce manufacturing costs. Hurel-Hispano and a Russian partner will supply the nacelle and thrust reverser.

Source: Flight International