A320neo's first Pratt & Whitney test engine takes shape

Significant milestone reached and A320neo programme on track

26 October 2012 Press Release

Airbus’ A320neo programme has moved a step closer to the real aircraft with the assembly of the first engine-to-test – the Pratt & Whitney (P&W) PurePower PW1100G-JM engine. This engine is due to begin testing very soon at P&W’s facilities in Florida, USA. 

The PurePower engine uses an advanced gear system for the fan. This configuration was validated in Toulouse on Airbus’ A340 flying-testbed aircraft in 2008 during P&W’s ‘geared-turbofan’ conceptual phase. The gear allows the engine’s fan to operate at a different speed than the low-pressure compressor and turbine. The combination of the gear system and an all-new advanced core is a solution which delivers fuel efficiency and environmental benefits.

Paul Adams, Senior Vice President, Operations & Engineering, Pratt & Whitney said: “Pratt & Whitney is proud that its PurePower PW1100G-JM will be the first engine to enter service on the Airbus A320neo. We are confident the Geared Turbofan provides the best value proposition for the future, and that our new engine for the A320neo family is well positioned to support Airbus in this market segment.”

Klaus Roewe, Airbus’ Senior Vice President A320neo Family said: “The Pratt & Whitney PurePower engine is an integral part of the Airbus A320neo family of aircraft.” He adds: “Commencing the test programme of the new engine is an important milestone on our common journey and we are looking forward to the test results and also to the continued integration work of the engine into the aircraft.”

The A320neo gives operators a choice of two new engines – the PurePower PW1100G-JM from Pratt & Whitney and CFM International’s LEAP-1A turbofan, each with a fully optimised fan diameter and advanced core. Moreover, coupled with Airbus’ Sharklet large wing tip devices, these enhancements together ensure that the best-selling A320 Family will retain its market leading position as the most capable and cost-efficient single-aisle airliner for the foreseeable future. 

Overall the A320neo Family will deliver fuel savings of 15 percent and an additional flight distance of 500 nautical miles (950 kilometres), or the ability to carry two tonnes more payload at a given range. For the environment, the A320neo’s fuel savings translate into some 3,600 tonnes less CO2 per aircraft per year (the equivalent of taking 1,000 mid-size cars off the roads). Additionally, the A320neo NOx emissions are 50 percent below CAEP/6, and this aircraft also has a considerably smaller noise footprint. 

The A320neo, with almost 1,500 firm orders from 30 customers since its launch, is the fastest selling commercial aircraft ever and is on track to enter service from 2015. For the A320 Family as a whole, over 8,600 aircraft have been ordered and almost 5,300 delivered to about 350 customers and operators worldwide reaffirming its position as the world’s best selling single-aisle aircraft Family. The A320neo has over 95 percent airframe commonality making it an easy fit into existing fleets.

Airbus is the world’s leading aircraft manufacturer offering the most modern, innovative and efficient family of passenger airliners on the market, ranging in capacity from 100 to more than 500 seats. Airbus has design and manufacturing facilities in France, Germany, the UK, and Spain as well as subsidiaries in the US, China, Japan and in the Middle East. Headquartered in Toulouse, France, Airbus is an EADS company.