Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp.’s decision last month to delay the MRJ program by more than a year has not yet affected Pratt & Whitney’s schedule to develop the PW1200G geared turbofan (GTF) powerplant for the aircraft, evidenced by the start of engine flight testing this week on Pratt’s flying test bed 747SP (ATW Daily News, April 26).
The PW1217G affixed to the test bed 747 will undergo about 60 hr. of initial flight testing over the next 4-5 weeks. Speaking to reporters in East Hartford, Conn., P&W president David Hess said the MRJ engine flight tests, as well as previous flight and ground tests on the PW1524G designated for Bombardier’s CSeries, are part of a rebooting of the company’s commitment to the commercial segment. Also critical was Pratt’s decision last year to buyout Rolls-Royce’s shares in International Aero Engines (IAE), the joint venture that produces the V2500 for Airbus A320 family aircraft (ATW Daily News, Oct. 14).
“We’ll immediately double our share of the V2500 business” when the $1.5 billion buyout of Rolls closes by midyear, Hess said. By thetime the A320 classic program winds down in 2018, 8,000 V2500s will have been delivered, he added. “This is going to give Pratt … great earnings growth this year and beyond” and also help it market the PW1100G engine for the A320neo. “This really puts us on a level playing field” with rival CFM International, Hess said.
He said GTF engine testing is going well. “We continue to get phenomenal results in both the ground and flights tests,” Hess said. There have now been 2,400 hr. of combined ground/flight testing on the CSeries and MRJ engines.
“It’s clear that we’re reinvesting in our commercial business,” Hess noted. “It’s been 13 years since we had one large commercial jet [engine program] in testing. This year we’ll have four [including the A320neo and Irkut MC-21 programs] … Long-term prospects we think are extremely bright.”
He predicted Pratt will nearly double its annual revenue from $12.7 billion in 2011 to $24 billion by 2020. “This is not some apparitional goal,” he said. “This is math” based on likely sales going forward.