After generating $12.7 billion in revenue in 2011 and having won the first three launch orders for the Airbus A320neo re-engined narrowbody, Pratt & Whitney president David Hess was naturally in an upbeat mood when he faced reporters at the show yesterday.
Asked about the move by P&W and MTU earlier this year to purchase Rolls-Royce’s share in the International Aero Engines, he replied, “The acquisition will simplify our global market strategy [to] align with our partners and…optimize deals for the A320.”
This week Hess was named as board chairman of IAE. He said Rolls-Royce remains “an important part” of IAE in supporting legacy engines, adding that preparations are under way to switch the production line to focus on the new Pratt & Whitney geared turbofan engines for the new narrowbodies such as the Mitsubishi MRJ and Bombardier CSeries.
Reacting sharply to rival CFM International’s statement here at the Farnborough International airshow this week that the Leap-1A engine for the Airbus A320neo will be cheaper to operate over 15 years compared to the PW1100G, Hess said, “Their claim defies the laws of physics and economics…if CFM was able to produce the geared turbofan, they would be manufacturing it.”
Quizzed about what Pratt & Whitney might offer by way of powerplant for the envisioned 777X development, Hess said it will respond to Boeing’s request for proposal with “a geared engine with the same fuel burn as in the narrowbody segment.” Rival General Electric is developing a new GE9X turbofan for the twinjet.
While the decision on the assembly location for the Airbus A320neo engine is awaited, it has been decided that MTU will assemble 30 percent in Europe.