Bombardier has selected Pratt & Whitney’s Geared Turbofan (GTF) engine for its proposed 110- to 149-seat C Series airliners in a deal the Canadian manufacturer claims “secures the best technology available.”
The decision follows Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ surprise choice of the GTF in October for its planned MRJ70/90 regional airliners and cements P&W’s position in a sector that will eventually include replacements for the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320.
Benjamin Boehm, program management and marketing director for Bombardier’s new commercial aircraft division, revealed the decision to AIN at last month’s Dubai Airshow. Asked to gauge the risk level in choosing the all-new GTF, which uses a gearbox to optimize fan speed and cut fuel burn by 10 to 15 percent, he wouldn’t concede a thing. “We don’t consider this engine to be risky,” said Boehm. “We’ve been working closely with Pratt & Whitney for a long time on this and have carried out a full due diligence investigation into the technology.”
Bombardier issued a request for information to Pratt & Whitney, Rolls-Royce and CFM for the C Series powerplant in February. “We chose the GTF because it exactly matched our timeline and technology requirement,” said Boehm. “It will contribute major fuel-burn reductions to the C Series as well as environmental benefits through its lower noise and emissions.” The planned decision on the C Series go-ahead is due next year, giving Bombardier some five years before service entry in 2013.
The news came as P&W ran the first full-scale demonstrator GTF for the first time at its West Palm Beach, Fla. test facility, marking the beginning of a test program that will run through May and lead to flight testing on P&W’s testbed Boeing 747.