Pratt & Whitney Team With Airbus For Turbofan Testing

October 22, 2008 by  
Filed under Features

Airbus has teamed up with Pratt & Whitney to conduct a series of flight tests designed to evaluate the PW1000G technology demonstrator engine. The engine features Pratt & Whitney’s patented Geared Turbofan (GTF). This is one of a number of tests that will be conducted by Airbus along with various major engine manufacturers.

The series of tests are a part of Airbus’ efforts to find newer and better ways to power aircraft without damaging the environment. The company is continually conducting extensive research and development into a number of different future technology options in the hopes of discovering the best possible means to achieve their goal. The new tests, which are being done at the airbus flight test facility, will run until the end of the year. Airbus is using its own A340 to conduct the tests. The aircraft is based in Toulouse and is often used to test various technologies. It is already fully equipped and evaluated and is the perfect candidate for the job. Further to this, Airbus already has a complete understanding of how the aircraft performs aerodynamically so it is much easier to assess the benefits of any technology added to the test aircraft. The main focus of the testing will be the PW1000G’s various design elements, such as the fan-drive gear system.

The company’s decision to test the new technology falls in line with the comments made by Airbus EVP Strategy and Future Programs spokesperson Christian Scherer when he said: “Airbus is already delivering the world’s most eco-efficient aircraft. Sensitive to our position of being an industry leader, it is imperative to us that we continuously explore all technology developments to achieve our ambitious targets today and in the future.” Through testing this and other engines, Airbus will be able to get valuable data that can validate both the fuel burn and CO2 emissions of new engine technology. Before the tests commence Pratt & Whitney conducted their own flight test campaign, using a Boeing 747 to do so. Airbus’ inspiring attempts to test new engine technologies have also led to them being the first aircraft manufacturer to get flight test results from the brand new PW1000G.

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