A key facility in Pratt & Whitney's campaign to get the production ramp-up for the geared turbofan engine family back on track "recently" opened in Lansing, Michigan, the manufacturer disclosed on 14 September.
In addition to opening the $97 million, 93,000ft2 fan blade production plant adjacent to P&W's AutoAir nacelle composite repair centre, the engine manufacturer also confirms it plans to open additional maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facilities to meet reduced commitments to deliver 350-400 geared turbofan engines this year and more than 700 next year.
"This expansion is part of our strategy to handle delivery demands on our backlog of more than 8,000 firm and option engines on order," Shane Eddy, P&W’s vice-president of operations, says in a news release.
An early lack of fan blade and MRO capacity partly hindered P&W's attempts to keep up with a ramp-up programme to meet delivery targets. The hybrid-metallic fan blade proved harder to manufacture than P&W expected initially, which slowed delivery of the components to the assembly lines.
Meanwhile, two components in some geared turbofans – the No 3 engine bearing seal and the combustor liner – degraded faster in service than expected. As improved versions of the parts became available, the lack of MRO capacity slowed the process for installing the new parts on previously delivered engines.
P&W now operates three plants that make the titanium-aluminium fan blades, including one facility in Japan.
The geared turbofan powers five different aircraft types: the Airbus A320neo, Bombardier CSeries, Embraer E-Jet E2, Irkut MC-21 and Mitsubishi Regional Jet.
Source: Cirium Dashboard