The Pratt & Whitney (PW) PurePower PW1100G-JM engine meant for use on the upcoming Airbus A320neo successfully completed its first flight May 15, launching the engine family’s flight test program.
Ironically, the engine which is meant for an Airbus aircraft flew on a Boeing aircraft. Pratt & Whitney’s 747SP flying test bed at the company’s Mirabel Aerospace Centre, in Mirabel, Quebec, Canada.
The engine was ground tested for 365 hours before being cleared for the first flight. Three additional engines are undergoing rigorous ground testing.
The PW1100G-JM engine is planned to be certified by the third quarter of 2014 with entry into service (EIS) planned for the fourth quarter of 2015.
The PurePower GTF (Geared Turbo Fan) engine family uses an advanced gear system allowing the engine’s fan to operate at a different speed than the low-pressure compressor and turbine to reduce fuel consumption and noise.
Even in these early stages, testing has yielded an optimisation in the engine fan’s configuration. Airbus and PW agreed to simplify the propulsion system by removing the Variable Area Fan Nozzle (VAFN) from the A320neo nacelle after the fan blade demonstrated better performance across the flight spectrum.