Results So Far Have Been "Outstanding"
Pratt & Whitney tells ANN the
company has successfully completed Phase I sea-level performance
and acoustic testing on the full-scale Geared Turbofan demonstrator
engine ahead of schedule. The engine will now be configured with
the flight nacelle system for Phase II ground testing beginning in
April in preparation for flight testing on Pratt & Whitney's
747SP flying test bed in mid-2008.
"The Geared Turbofan engine's performance has been outstanding
and all initial test results have validated the game-changing
benefits of this new product," said Bob Saia, vice president, Pratt
& Whitney Next Generation Product Family. "The initial results
surpassed our pre-test predictions, demonstrating the fuel burn,
noise and emissions characteristics of this new architecture. We
look forward to fully analyzing all of the data from these initial
tests and entering into the next phase of the development
The Geared Turbofan demonstrator engine has logged a total of
130 hours since ground testing began in November 2007. Running from
idle to full power, Phase I testing validated the design of the
fan, low pressure compressor, fan drive gear system and thermal
management system to demonstrate the Geared Turbofan engine's
"Testing conducted to validate the thermal management system
showed engine operating temperatures cooler than predicted," added
Saia. "These test results will enable our design engineers to
optimize the thermal management system to further reduce weight and
simplify placement of external accessories on the engine."
Phase II of the Geared Turbofan engine's ground test program
will continue in West Palm Beach, FL through May before being
installed on Pratt & Whitney's 747SP flying test bed for flight
The Geared Turbofan demonstrator engine is part of Pratt &
Whitney's overall technology readiness program to power the next
generation of commercial aircraft. The company is actively testing
key components of the Geared Turbofan engine on 15 test rigs
worldwide. The Geared Turbofan engine is expected to set new
standards in environmental and operational engine performance.
In 2007, Pratt & Whitney's Geared Turbofan engine was
selected as the exclusive power for the new Mitsubishi Regional Jet
and the Bombardier CSeries. If launched, both aircraft are
scheduled to enter service in 2013.
In a Geared Turbofan engine, a state-of-the-art gear system
allows the engine's fan to operate independent of the low-pressure
compressor and turbine, resulting in greater fuel efficiency and a
slower fan speed for less noise. The Geared Turbofan engine builds
on more than 20 years of technology development with improvements
in every major module.
Pratt & Whitney has over 17,000 aircraft engines installed
with hundreds of airlines throughout the world. Additionally, Pratt
& Whitney is a leading partner in two joint venture companies
that manufacture commercial aircraft engines: International Aero
Engines, which makes the V2500 for the Airbus A320 family of
aircraft, and the Engine Alliance, whose GP7200 engine is FAR 33
certified for the new Airbus A380.