PurePower PW1000G engine successfully completes Airbus tests
Pratt & Whitney has completed ground and flight testing of the PurePower PW1000G demonstrator engine. The final phase of testing was completed jointly with Airbus on an A340-600 flight test aircraft and included 27 flights and more than 75 hours of flight testing.
The PW1000G engine features Pratt & Whitney’s patented Geared Turbofan technology and targets double-digit reductions in fuel burn, engine noise, environmental emissions and operating costs.
The Airbus flight testing follows Pratt & Whitney’s own ground and flight test programme, during which the engine completed approximately 300 hours of ground testing and 12 flights on Pratt & Whitney’s Boeing 747SP flying test bed. The PW1000G demonstrator engine successfully completed all test objectives.
“It is truly unprecedented to complete this amount of testing on a technology demonstrator engine,” said Bob Saia, vice-president, Next Generation Product Family. “We were able to complete all flight test objectives with flawless engine operation. The Airbus A340 flight test programme included engine test evaluations normally conducted for production engine certification. This engine successfully demonstrated the performance and operational benefits of the its unique gear system.”
The most recent flight test programme assessed inflight performance, engine handling, inflight acoustics and aircraft installation of the demonstrator engine. Following removal from the Airbus A340 aircraft, Pratt & Whitney is now analysing the test data for engine design optimisation during the next several months.
“One of a kind demonstrator engines like this are typically designed to test for approximately 100 hours,” Saia explained. “It is extraordinary that the PW1000G demonstrator engine completed 406 hours of testing including a total of 120 hours in flight. The engine performed exceptionally throughout the programme, demonstrating both performance and reliability under extremely challenging tests such as high altitude aircraft flight manoeuvres exceeding two G’s of acceleration force. Thousands of data points taken during this test programme will enable our engineers to optimise the engine as we enter detailed design mid-year.”
The completion of the ground and flight test programme clears the way for detailed design of the production PurePower PW1000G engine for the Mitsubishi Regional Jet and the Bombardier CSeries aircraft. Both types are scheduled to enter service in 2013.