Pratt & Whitney has confirmed that the first PurePower PW1000G geared-turbofan engine to enter service will be a PW1100G on an Airbus A320neo rather than a PW1500G on a Bombardier CS100.
Speaking to reporters on April 2 at Pratt & Whitney’s annual media event at the company’s headquarters at East Hartford, Connecticut, Paul Adams, Pratt & Whitney’s president, said the PW1100G ‒ the PW1000G family version developed for the Airbus A320neo family ‒ is expected to enter airline service “in the second half of 2015”.
But the PW1100G wasn’t the first member of the PW1000G family to be certificated. This honor went to the PW1500G, which was developed specifically for the new Bombardier CSeries family of commercial jets and was certificated on February 20, 2013. The PW1100G didn’t even make its first flight until June 2013.
Powered by two PW1500Gs, the first flight-test Bombardier CS100, the smaller of the two initial versions of the Bombardier CSeries airliner family, made its maiden test flight in September 2013.
However, the CSeries then encountered a series of long delays in its certification flight-testing program and has not yet obtained its type certificate as being airworthy for commercial operations.
Meanwhile, Airbus was having a trouble-free experience with the flight-test program for its A320neo re-engined derivative, which began in September 2014. The A320neo program remains on track for certification in the fourth quarter of 2015.
Bombardier still says officially that it is expecting to achieve certification for the CS100 before the end of 2015 but, in a new wrinkle for the airline industry, has said that its previously envisaged launch customer is no longer in a position to take delivery of the aircraft when it originally said it would.
This makes it all but certain that the first Bombardier CS100 will enter service in 2016. Lufthansa Group subsidiary Swiss International Air Lines is widely seen as being the most likely customer to receive a production CS100 first, but its first delivery is not scheduled until an as-yet unconfirmed date in 2016.
Accordingly, the PW1100G, which P&W developed specifically for the Airbus A320neo family and was FAA-certificated in December 2014, has taken over the mantle as the PW1000G version which will be the first to enter commercial service.
Delivery of the first A320neo to a customer following certification of the new A320-family derivative is expected to occur in November, with a delivery to Qatar Airways, according to FlightGlobal Pro’s Ascend database of airline fleets.
Although Adams did not provide a specific date range for when P&W expects its PW1500G family (the first PW1000G version to be certificated) to enter service on the Bombardier CSeries, he conceded that P&W recognized that development programs for the CSeries and the Mitsubishi Regional Jet have encountered some slippage.
The PW1000G family is the sole engine choice for both of these aircraft.
“We have already considered [this slippage] and built it into the ramp” up of PW1000G production, said Adams.
The ramp-up will see P&W increasing PW1000G production from 500 to 600 engines a year in its first year or so of volume production to as many as 1,800 engines a year before 2020 as new PW1000G-powered aircraft models enter service, according to Danny di Perna, the company’s senior vice president of manufacturing and operations.
At P&W’s April 2 media event, Adams also confirmed that the A321LR, Airbus’ recently announced new long-range A321neo variant which will have a maximum take-off weight of 97 tonnes, will be able to operate using the 33,000lb maximum take-off thrust level for which Pratt & Whitney originally certificated the PW1100G.
However, Adams said P&W has subsequently obtained certification for the PW1100G at an increased maximum take-off thrust limit of 35,000lb. This capability will primarily be useful for operators of A321neos in hot temperatures and from high-altitude airports, he added.
Adams also revealed that in addition to the 16 per cent fuel-burn reduction guarantee that P&W has given Airbus (and has demonstrated in flight-testing) for the PW1100G-powered A320neo compared with the IAE V2500-powered A320, the company has guaranteed Airbus another 2 per cent reduction in fuel burn from the PW1100G by 2020.
The improvement will come as a result of P&W’s continuous improvement program for the engine model and is another important factor in Airbus’ ability to offer its A321LR extended-range version of the A321neo, said Adams.