With its first PW1000G Geared Turbofan (GTF) certification under its belt, Pratt & Whitney is looking to increase the engine’s bypass ratio to achieve even greater efficiencies.
Speaking Monday at the ISTAT Americas 2013 conference in Orlando, P&W VP next generation product family Robert Saia said the next breakthrough for the PW1000G GTF family will be to increase the gear ratio from 3:1 to 4.5:1 because higher bypass ratios mean greater fuel efficiencies and reduced noise levels.
GTF technology allows the fan to operate at slower speeds than the low-pressure compressor and turbine, enabling a larger fan and increasing the bypass ratio. Pratt says the GTF will have a fuel burn 16% lower than current regional jet and narrowbody engines and reduce noise by between 50% and 75%.
The first engine, the PW1500G variant for the new Bombardier CSeries jet, gained Transport Canada type certification in February.
The engine has been selected for four more new aircraft—the Airbus A320neo, Embraer second-generation E-Jet, Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. MRJ and the Irkut MC-21.
Saia said Pratt had orders for 3,000 engines from 38 airlines. Some 4,500 hours of testing have been completed, including 460 flight hours, and more than 9,000 test hours have been completed on the gear system.
“There was a lot of skepticism about the gear and some said it was a step back,” Saia said. “But the gear is an enabling technology and it is rock solid.”