Aircraft engine specialist Pratt & Whitney is proceeding toward the start of production for its PurePower PW1100G-JM, which it calls its “greenest engine.” The company’s assembly plant at Middletown, Conn., is being reconfigured to produce the commercial jet engines, as well as to increase capacity for the F135 engine that the manufacturer supplies to Lockheed Martin for the F-35II military fighter jets.
"This is a time of transformation at Pratt & Whitney," stated v.p. – Manufacturing Operations Joe Sylvestro. "This new addition to the engine facility in Middletown will play a pivotal role in the production ramp-up for our PurePower engines.”
Pratt & Whitney is a United Technologies company, and the organization has improvement projects underway at several plants as it increases engine production volumes.
PurePower is a family of turbofan engines with a gear system separating the engine fan from the low-pressure compressor and turbine, allowing each of the modules to operate at optimal speeds. This allows the fan to rotate more slowly, and while the low-pressure compressor and turbine operate at a high speed, increasing engine efficiency and delivering significantly lower fuel consumption, emissions and noise.
The increased engine efficiency translates to fewer engine stages and parts, reducing its weight and maintenance costs.
Pratt & Whitney noted the PurePower PW1000G engine family also incorporates advances in aerodynamics, lightweight materials, and other technology improvements in the high-pressure spool, low-pressure turbine, combustors, controls, and engine health monitoring.
PurePower engines have been selected to power several commercial aircraft programs, including the Bombardier CSeries, Mitsubishi Regional Jet, and Embraer's redesigned E-Jet regional aircraft. It is offered as an option for the Irkut MS-21 and Airbus A320neo aircraft.
Airbus chose the PW1100G-JM as the launch engine for its A320neo aircraft — a new series of its short- to medium-range narrow-body commercial jets that will have a “new engine option” (neo), larger and more efficient engines to cut fuel consumption, lower operating costs, reduce noise production, and cut NOx emissions.
The A320neo is scheduled for introduction in 2015.
Pratt & Whitney records state the PW1100G-JM will achieve double-digit reductions in fuel burn, 50% reductions in noise, and lower emission levels.
“This achievement was truly a team effort and signifies our ongoing investment to meeting our customer commitments by delivering game-changing engine technology within a lean manufacturing operation," Sylvestro continued.