Pratt & Whitney last month announced the launch of the second phase of ground testing for its Geared Turbofan demonstrator engine. Tests analyzing engine performance, acoustic characteristics and the nacelle system took place at Pratt's facility in West Palm Beach.

"We have analyzed the data from the first phase of ground testing and we are delighted by the performance of the Geared Turbofan engine," VP-Next Generation Product Family Bob Saia said. "The results surpassed our pre-test predictions in every major area, demonstrating the fuel burn, noise and thermal management characteristics of this new architecture. As we prepare to enter production engine design for the Mitsubishi Regional Jet and the proposed Bombardier CSeries aircraft, these results put us on track to deliver the superior fuel savings and noise reduction made possible by this new technology."

The first phase yielded 130 testing hr. validating the design and efficiency of the fan, low pressure compressor, fan drive gear system and thermal management system. Pratt also has been testing GTF components on 15 rigs globally.

Separately, Pratt and Airbus reached agreement to flight test the GTF on Airbus's A340 testbed during the fourth quarter. The deal came as a bit of a surprise because the engine does not have an application on an Airbus airframe.

"Testing the Geared Turbofan engine throughout its entire operating envelope using the A340 flight test aircraft, combined with the tremendous experience of the Airbus flight test team, will provide us with valuable installation and operating data to further evaluate the performance of this new engine architecture," observed Pratt Commercial Engines President Todd Kallman.

According to a statement by Airbus, the agreement is in keeping with its "commitment, as an eco-efficient company, to look at all new technologies and innovations that could potentially bring environmental and economic benefits to the aviation sector for the longer term." First flight of the GTF on Pratt's 747 testbed is expected around mid-year.

In another deal, Pratt selected Goodrich to be the exclusive provider of the complete nacelle systems for the GTF on both the Mitsubishi Regional Jet and CSeries. Goodrich said it expects the contract to generate more than $5 billion in original equipment and aftermarket revenue in the 25 years following entry into service.

"Goodrich has been a longstanding partner of Pratt & Whitney's and we are delighted to continue that partnership on the Geared Turbofan engine program," Saia said. "The Goodrich nacelle system on the Geared Turbofan demonstrator engine is performing very well and we look forward to flight testing the complete propulsion system later this year."

Contract calls for the California-based Goodrich Aerostructures business unit to manufacture the inlet, fan cowl, thrust reverser, exhaust system and engine mounts. Goodrich has been working with Pratt on the engine concept and prototype development since 2005.

"We are pleased to continue our long relationship with Pratt & Whitney by providing vital components for an optimally integrated propulsion system for the Geared Turbofan," said Goodrich President for Nacelles & Interior Systems Cindy Egnotovich.