P&W commissions new PurePower GTF engine fan blade manufacturing facility


US-based aircraft engine maker Pratt & Whitney (P&W) has commissioned a new fan blade manufacturing facility at the company’s AutoAir plant site in Lansing, Michigan.

The 93,000ft² facility will produce fan blades for P&W’s PurePower Geared Turbofan (GTF) engine programme and has been added to the company’s existing GTF fan blade production line in Lansing.

It has joined a global network of 30 manufacturing, production and assembly sites that develop various parts and components of the GTF engine programme.

With the latest addition, P&W expects to meet its goal of delivering between 350 and 400 GTF engines this year.

“This expansion is part of our strategy to handle delivery demands on our backlog of more than 8,000 firm and option engines on order.”

The expansion is also set to triple the production capacity at the AutoAir plant.

P&W operations vice-president Shane Eddy said: “P&W's $97m investment in the production of fan blades for the GTF engine at our AutoAir facility is part of our more than $1.3bn investment in 21st century manufacturing technology to transform our footprint worldwide.

“This expansion is part of our strategy to handle delivery demands on our backlog of more than 8,000 firm and option engines on order.”

P&W has also increased its workforce at the AutoAir plant from around 200 to nearly 700. The site has also seen a tenfold increase in production over a period of 20 months.

Apart from producing GTF fan blades, P&W’s AutoAir facility is engaged in the testing of nacelle composite repairs.

P&W currently operates four maintenance and repair operations (MRO) facilities to service GTF engines.