Face To Face

PalashRoyChowdhuryIn an exclusive interview with Indian Aviation, Palash Roy Chowdhury, Managing Director, India, Commercial Engine and Global Services, Pratt & Whitney speaks about innovative PW1100G GTF Engine. Here are the excerpts:

You have recently won the order for PW1100G GTF Engine for Airbus A320neo family aircraft from IndiGo. Can you share more details about the order?

Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1100G engines will power Indigo’s fleet of 150 new Airbus A320neo family aircraft. The decision represents 300 firm PW1100G engines with options for additional engines.

In addition, IndiGo has also chosen Pratt & Whitney to provide maintenance for these PurePower engines.

This is the largest commercial engine order for the company in about 50 years. Financial terms of the deal have not been released.

Is IndiGo your launch customer for PW1100G engine?

Airbus recently announced the Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1100G engine as the lead engine on the A320neo family, which means it will be the first engine to power the new aircraft with accelerated entry into service scheduled for October 2015.  Prior to the IndiGo announcement, aircraft leasing giant, International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) announced an order for 60 A320neo aircraft with PW1100G engines, becoming the launch customer for the PW1100G engine.

The GTF technology is new. Can you explain the differences in them to the available engines in the market today?

Pratt & Whitney’s technology investment in the PurePower® geared turbofan engine produces the only proven new engine architecture for now and well into the future. It’s real and currently undergoing extensive ground testing with first test flights scheduled for mid year.

The PurePower PW1000G engine takes a comprehensive approach to engine development.  Unlike our competitors, who are focusing primarily on the thermal efficiencies derived from improvements to an engine's core, Pratt & Whitney is upgrading the propulsive and thermal efficiencies of the engine. To do this, the PurePower engine uses an advanced gear system allowing the engine's fan to operate at a different speed than the low-pressure compressor and turbine. The combination of the gear system and an all-new advanced core delivers double-digit improvements in fuel efficiency and environmental emissions as well as a 50 percent reduction in noise.

When is the first engine to test (FETT) expected?

To date, we have completed more than 300 hours of ground testing on the first PurePower engines.  The first PurePower PW1217G engine for Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation’s MRJ is at the West Palm Beach, Fla. test stand, and it has begun ground testing. 

The second PW1524G engine is in preparation for mounting to our Boeing 747 Flying Test Bed (FTB) at the company’s Mirabel Aerospace Centre facility in Québec, Canada.

This engine will perform the first test flights scheduled to begin this summer.  PW1524G engine certification is scheduled for 2012.

A total of 16 test engines will be involved in the first two PurePower engine certification programs (CSeries and MRJ).

Engine testing has confirmed the performance benefits of the geared turbofan engine architecture demonstrated during our 2008 GTF Demonstrator Program.   We have verified overall engine characteristics with the 'game-changing' Geared Turbofan™ technologies, and we have confirmed the projected fuel consumption efficiency of the PurePower PW1000G engine family.

How many PW1100G engine order have you received so far and from which airlines? What is your global/Indian sale target for the engine?

With the Indigo order, Pratt & Whitney now has more than 1,200 PW1000G engines on order, including options.

International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC), IndiGo and Lufthansa recently selected the Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1100G engines for A320neo family aircraft orders. 

PurePower customers for the Bombardier CSeries include Lufthansa, Lease Corp. International (LCI), and Republic Airways.  ANA and Trans States Holdings are PurePower customers for the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ).

Pratt & Whitney plans to capture half of the market for engines for the A320neo aircraft and 100 percent of engine sales for the Bombardier CSeries and Mitsubishi Regional Jet.

What is the USP of the engine? What are the great tangible features of the product?

This revolutionary engine will allow customers significant operating cost savings combined with fuel, emissions and noise reductions.  We estimate operators can save up to US$1.5 million per aircraft per year when compared with today’s aircraft.  And the PurePower engine has runway for the future with additional technology insertion and adjustments to bypass and gear ratios, we predict the geared turbofan architecture is the future for all aircraft – single-aisle and wide-body – in the future.

Why have you decided to develop the engine? Did the industry demand it?

Pratt & Whitney has been studying advanced engine concepts for decades, and we are the only engine company that has full engine test data on geared turbofans, advanced turbofans and propfans. The proven Geared Turbofan technology builds on 20 years of development experience and more than a US$1 billion investment to deliver dependable power, reduced noise and emissions, better fuel efficiency, and lower maintenance costs.  And, now, our technology is ready and our engine is real at a time when the industry is demanding more fuel-efficient, environmentally responsible options for power.



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