The Pratt & Whitney PW1500G geared-turbofan engine took to the skies for its first flight on June 20, launching the PW1000G engine family’s first flight-test program.
Pratt & Whitney’s PW1524G engine for the Bombardier CSeries commercial-jet family flew its maiden flight on the engine manufacturer’s Boeing 747SP flying test-bed at Pratt & Whitney Canada’s Mirabel Aerospace Centre, in Mirabel, Quebec.
Open since May 6, the facility, which features advanced manufacturing technologies, is where final-production assembly and test will occur for both the PurePower PW1524G and P&WC’s advanced PurePower PW800 family of engines for the next generation of large business jets. Pratt & Whitney is a division of United Technologies Corp. and P&WC is a subsidiary.
“The engine performed even better than we expected on this first flight, building on the success of our ground test program,” said Bob Saia, vice president, next generation product family for Pratt & Whitney. “To date, we have conducted nearly 400 hours of full engine ground testing. We are very pleased with the initial results, which have demonstrated the geared architecture’s benefits of low fuel consumption, lower noise and a robust operational design. The engine is real, and it’s flying now. We have four PurePower engines at test and five engines in the build phase.”
This initial flight test program will validate the PW1524G’s performance, engine operability and in-flight starting.
In addition to full engine testing, Pratt & Whitney has performed critical-part-level and engine sub-system testing to validate designs for the PurePower engine program, including design validation of the fan dive gear system, fan blade for bird ingestion and blade containment and compressor performance for the advanced PW1000G core.
PurePower PW1000G-series engines use an advanced gear system, which allows 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 deliver double-digit improvements in fuel efficiency, environmental emissions and noise, according to Pratt & Whitney.
The PW1500G engine test program will run a total of eight test engines over the next 18 months with engine certification scheduled for 2012. Entry into service on the CS100, the first CSeries version to be delivered, is scheduled for 2013.
The PurePower family of engines shares common, advanced cores across the PW1000G and PW800 models, and features flight-proven, next-generation technology. The engine core consists of an ultra-efficient high-pressure compressor, a low-emissions combustor, and an advanced high-pressure turbine module.
The PW1500G engine test program also supports the development of Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PurePower PW800 engine for the next generation of large business jets. The PurePower PW800 engine is a 10,000-to-20,000-pound thrust geared turbofan which P&WC says will offer double-digit improvements in fuel burn, environmental emissions, engine noise and operating costs.
Pratt & Whitney’s PurePower PW1000G family has been chosen, to date, to power the Bombardier CSeries as the PW1500G; the Airbus A320neo family, as the PW1100G; the Mitsubishi MRJ regional jet, as the PW1200G; and Russia’s Irkut MS-21 150-seat jetliner, as the PW1400G. Were Boeing to select the engine to power one of its aircraft, it would be given the designation PW1000G.
The last two digits of each specific PurePower PW1000G engine indicates its planned maximum take-off thrust level. For instance, the PW1524G is planned to offer 24,000lb of take-off thrust, while the PW1217G for the MRJ is planned to offer 17,000lb and the PW1133G for the A320neo is planned to offer 33,000lb of take-off thrust.