U.S. engine maker Pratt & Whitney (PW) is here touting its solutions to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, including more fuel-efficient technologies and better engine maintenance. During a press conference here at the Paris Air Show on Tuesday, president Steve Finger highlighted existing PW engines features and pledged geared turbofan flight-testing very soon.
“Our 30,000-pound-of-thrust geared fan demonstrator will fly on a Boeing 747 testbed next year,” Finger announced. It is to start ground tests this fall (see AIN’s Tuesday Paris Air Show edition, page 30). PW’s target is to be ready for a entry into service by 2013 on a new generation of single-aisle airliners.
Not only is a geared fan significantly more fuel efficient, Finger emphasized, it also shaves flight time at climb. “It is much quieter so it can bypass noise-abatement flight tracks,” he explained. This translates into a 2- to 3-percent cut in high-power operation, he reckoned.
Physically, a geared fan could be retrofitted on to current narrowbody airframes, Finger said. However, he insisted that airlines are looking for an aircraft-engine combination that is optimized to curb CO2 emissions. “So it is not a question of technical feasibility,” he stated.
Finger once more said that he favors bringing geared fan technology to the market through the IAE partnership. The latter is a joint venture with MTU, Rolls-Royce and the Japanese JAEC consortium. MTU is already a partner on the geared fan demonstrator.
On existing engines, Finger asserted: “If you choose V2500 engines on an A320, you’ll save 1,400 metric tons of CO2 per year.” He also claimed that having a pair of [V2500 competitor] CFM engines overhauled at PW’s Norway engine center would save 160 metric tons per year. “This is the best CFM overhaul facility in the world,” he said. According to him and senior vice president for global service partners Jim Keenan, PW standards there are higher than anywhere else. This is especially true in the level of detail engineers go into in the rebuild process, Keenan said.
Another PW service that is supposed to save greenhouse gas emissions is the EcoPower Wash process. It cleans the engine in depth, getting blades rid of soot. “One on-wing wash improves the fuel burn by one percent and this lasts six months,” Finger affirmed.