Pratt & Whitney completes first flight of PurePower PW1100G-JM engine


PurePower PW1100G-JM

Pratt & Whitney (P&W) has completed the first flight of its PurePower PW1100G-JM engine, a development that marks the launch of the engine family's flight test programme.

Designed to power the Airbus A320neo aeroplane, the PW1100G-JM engine flew on a Boeing 747SP flying test bed at the company's Mirabel Aerospace Centre, in Quebec, Canada.

P&W commercial development programmes vice-president Bob Saia said that this first flight milestone adds to the more than 460 hours of flight testing already logged for the PurePower engine programme.

"The first flight went smoothly and cleared the way for about 40 flights planned for this phase of the programme," Saia said.

"Our family design strategy is enabling this programme to initiate flight testing and certification testing earlier than our earlier programmes."

In April, P&W completed ground testing of its PurePower PW1100G-JM test engine at the company's test facility in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Three additional engines are undergoing ground testing at Pratt & Whitney.

To date, the PurePower engine programme has logged more than 4,800 hours and 13,700 cycles of full engine testing.

The certification for the PW1100G-JM engine is scheduled for third quarter of 2014, with entry into service scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2015.

Producing 33,000lb of thrust, the PW1100G-JM is the third variant of the PurePower PW1000G line.

It uses an advanced gear system for the fan, which received validation on A340 flying-testbed aircraft in Toulouse in 2008.

The gear system allows the engine's fan to work at a variable speed when compared with the low-pressure compressor and turbine.

Combined with an advanced core, the engine offers fuel efficiency and environmental benefits.

"Our family design strategy is enabling this programme to initiate flight testing and certification testing earlier than our earlier programmes."

The advanced core of the engine comprises an ultra-efficient high-pressure compressor, a low-emissions combustor, and high-pressure turbine module.

P&W stated that the results continue to validate that the engine is on track to meet all programme commitments such as durability, reduced emissions, drastically lower noise footprint and double digit fuel burn reduction.

As part of the technology improvements and testing of the engine, the company altered the configuration of engine fan.

After the fan blade demonstrated better performance across the flight spectrum, Airbus and P&W have agreed to simplify the propulsion system by removing the variable area fan nozzle (VAFN) from the A320neo nacelle.


Image: The PW1100G-JM engine is scheduled to enter into service in the fourth quarter of 2015. Photo: courtesy of United Technologies Corporation.

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