The downturn in demand in some of its markets has not dented the ardor of engine maker Pratt & Whitney for developing new technology. “We have to be ready for the upturn,” said the U.S. company’s new president, David Hess. “We have to keep people focused on the great future of Pratt & Whitney, positioning ourselves for a strong recovery.”
Despite the fact that final assembly of the 4,000th example is now under way, the A320 single-aisle twinjet may be only at the midpoint of its production life, according to Airbus. Marketing vice president Colin Stuart has suggested that a 5,000th A320 could enter service in 2011.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) has decided to participate in development of the new Rolls-Royce Trent XWB aero-engine for the Airbus A350 XWB, the company announced today. As a risk- and revenue-sharing partner (RRSP), MHI will take responsibility for the development and manufacture of the components for the engine’s combustion system and manufacture of low-pressure turbine blades and others.
Nine contracts worth more than $630 million were awarded to MTU Maintenance last November. “The deals we made again demonstrate that amid a difficult economic environment, MTU remains competitive and well positioned,” commented Egon Behle, CEO of MTU Aero Engines. The agreements signed in part are long-term, up to 10-year arrangements covering V2500, CF6 and PW2000 engines. They come mostly from the U.S. and Europe.
International Aero Engines has logged orders for $1.4 billion worth of V2500 engines at Farnborough. With more than 5,000 powerplants in service or on order, the company’s long-term future would seem to look secure.
IAE has logged its largest-ever aftermarket deal to provide support for engines powering U.S. Airways’ fleet of Airbus A320 family aircraft. The contract runs to 2032 and initially covers 74 aircraft currently in service, along with engines for a further 78 ordered by U.S. Airways last year. According to IAE, aftermarket agreements cover more than half of the V2500s in service.
International Aero Engines has been awarded a follow-on order from Hainan Airlines for V2500 engines to power 13 Airbus A320s. Along with a long-term V2500Select aftermarket agreement, the deal is worth $350 million. The Chinese operator took delivery of the first of 20 V2500-powered A319s in June, becoming the latest Chinese airline to fly the Airbus narrowbody.
Pratt & Whitney passes one of the most important milestones in its long history as the much-heralded Geared Turbofan engine takes to the skies this month. Installed and nearly ready to fly aboard the company’s Boeing 747 testbed in the days leading to the start of this week’s Farnborough airshow, the GTF demonstrator underwent 250 hours of ground testing since engineers first ran the engine in November 2007.
International Aero Engines comes to Farnborough celebrating the 25th anniversary of the landmark deal on March 11, 1983, between Rolls-Royce, Pratt & Whitney and Japanese Aero Engines to develop a brand-new engine–the V2500–to compete with the CFM56 to power the Airbus A320 family.
Rolls-Royce North America has strengthened and reorganized the management of its Corporate Aircraft division. Ian Aitken, who previously had a split role as president of corporate aircraft and executive v-p of airlines for the Americas, will now be focusing entirely on the business aviation sector.