Ready to fly

Ready to fly: A320neo powered by PW1100G engines receives certification

The announcement was exciting news: The Airbus A320neo with its PW1100G-JM engines has successfully completed its flight test program on schedule. On Tuesday, the aircraft received joint type certification from the airworthiness authorities in Europe (EASA) and the United States (FAA), which clears the jet for delivery to customers. The certified aircraft was powered by PW1100G geared turbofan (GTF) engines, which are being built by Pratt & Whitney, MTU Aero Engines und JAEC. The A320neo is now allowed to fly in revenue service.“Type certification of the A320neo marks another milestone in the success story of the GTF. We can be rightfully proud of the excellent job MTU’s team contributed to this accomplishment,” said Dr. Christian Winkler (PZN), vice president, 30K GTF programs at MTU. Dr. Claus Riegler (TEC), director, engineering, commercial programs, added: “We are delighted to see the first geared turbofan go into revenue service after a mere twelve months of flight testing.”  

Since its maiden flight, the A320neo had accumulated 1,070 flight hours in some 350 flights prior to obtaining type certification. “This double seal of approval represents a great achievement for Airbus,” said Airbus president and CEO Fabrice Brégier on Tuesday. The first A320neos will soon take to the skies in the liveries of Qatar Airways and Lufthansa. The re-engined version of the A320 has so far clocked up more than 4,300 orders.

Last Tuesday indeed also marked a historic day for MTU, for the geared turbofan technology incorporated in the PW1000G engine family will dominate new-engine sales over the next few years and decades. MTU, which has a share of 18 percent in the program, contributes the first four stages of the high-pressure compressor and the low-pressure turbine featuring titanium aluminide blades.

With the encouraging news of the first flight of the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) powered by the PW1200G in early November, plus the kick-off of the flight tests of the PW1900G to power the Embraer E-Jet E2 on the flying test bed at almost the same time, MTU and Pratt & Whitney are confident that the certification process for the PW1400G to power the Irkut MS-21 will go smoothly too. “It’s a historic quarter for Pratt & Whitney,” said Greg Gernhardt, president, commercial engines at Pratt & Whitney. “We are talking six or seven major milestones in a three-month period.” For MTU, too, this is a very busy time. “With our big program share, we have to cope with large volumes too,” says Riegler, who makes it a point to stress that MTU’s responsibility for its products does not end on the day the engines are delivered: “But, you know, we are of course very well prepared for providing support for the engines when they are in revenue service with the airlines,” he says.

A rundown on PW1000G