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Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan™ Demonstrator Engine Begins Phase II Ground Testing


EAST HARTFORD, Conn. – Pratt & Whitney’s Geared Turbofan demonstrator engine has begun Phase II ground testing at the company’s advanced test facility in West Palm Beach, Fla. Phase II of the ground test program will focus on engine performance and acoustic characteristics with a flight capable nacelle system prior to initiating flight testing mid-year. Pratt & Whitney is a division of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX).

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 operational efficiency.

“We have analyzed the data from the first phase of ground testing and we are delighted by the performance of the Geared Turbofan engine,” said Bob Saia, Pratt & Whitney vice president, Next Generation Product Family. “The results surpassed our pre-test predictions in every major area, demonstrating the fuel burn, noise and thermal management characteristics of this new architecture. As we prepare to enter production engine design for the Mitsubishi Regional Jet and the proposed Bombardier CSeries aircraft, these results put us on track to deliver the superior fuel savings and noise reduction made possible by this new technology.”

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 proposed Bombardier CSeries. The Mitsubishi Regional Jet program was officially launched on March 28, 2008, with an order from All Nippon Airways. The CSeries program is expected to launch later this year. 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.


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