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Pratt & Whitney’s Geared Turbofan™ Demonstrator Engine Begins Ground Testing Ahead of Schedule


EAST HARTFORD, Conn.– Pratt & Whitney’s Geared Turbofan™ demonstrator engine successfully completed its first ground test, ahead of schedule, at the company’s advanced test facility in West Palm Beach, Fla.. The full-scale demonstrator engine successfully started and ran, marking the beginning of a ground test program that will run through May 2008. Pratt & Whitney is a division of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX).

“We are delighted to see our next generation Geared Turbofan engine successfully begin its validation testing program,” said Bob Saia, vice president, Next Generation Product Family, Pratt & Whitney. “With more than 20 years of design, development and component rig testing, we are confident that this demonstrator engine will meet all performance expectations and validate the game-changing characteristics of the Geared Turbofan engine.”

The Geared Turbofan engine is part of Pratt & Whitney’s aggressive technology readiness program for the next generation of commercial aircraft. The company is actively testing key components on 15 test rigs around the world and flight testing on Pratt & Whitney’s 747 flying test bed will begin in mid-2008.

The Geared Turbofan engine targets double-digit improvements in fuel burn with significant reductions in engine noise, environmental emissions and operating costs. In a Geared Turbofan engine, a state-of-the-art fan drive gear system allows the engine’s fan to operate at a speed different from that of the low-pressure compressor and turbine, resulting in greater fuel efficiency and a slower fan speed which results in less noise.

On Oct. 9, 2007, Pratt & Whitney announced that the Geared Turbofan engine was selected by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. to power the new proposed Mitsubishi Regional Jet. The sole-source agreement is the first airframe application for the Geared Turbofan engine, which is scheduled to enter service in 2013.


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