2018 marked a significant year in the development of engine technologies for business aviation as a new wave of ultra-long-range jets either made their way to market or were deep into development.
Gulfstream Aerospace’s celebration of the first delivery of its G500 ultra-long-range jet in late September was a major milestone for Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) as well: the entry into service of the first of a new engine family that has been in the works for most of the past two decades. “This year is a very big year for us,” said Scott McElvaine, vice president of the PW800 series for P&WC. “We are now officially in service with the PW800.”
The first of the PW800 family was the 15,144-pound-thrust PW814GA powers the G500. The entry-into-service was the culmination of a test program that stretches back to the early 2000s. “This is a demonstration of our commitment to an engine this size,” said McElvaine.
Using the PurePower core developed for the PW1000, the PW800 family is designed to span a thrust class of 10,000 to 20,000 pounds, provide new levels of maintainability, and dramatically reduce emissions with the Talon X combustor.
With entry into service came a huge push on ramp up, with pieces put into place both on production and service side. At the same time, though, P&WC was turning to the next application: the Dassault Falcon 8X long-range jet.
At the same time, GE Aviation also was putting together parts, services teams, and production provisions as it prepared its 16,500-pound-thrust Passport turbofan powering the Bombardier Global 7500. That engine officially entered service with the first delivery of a Global 7500 on December 20, a milestone reached a decade after GE Aviation jumped fully into the business and general aviation market.
Certified in 2016, the Passport underwent 4,000 hours of testing and 3,400 cycles. Brad Mottier, v-p and general manager of GE Aviation’s Business and General Aviation and Integrated Systems division, described the turbofan powerplant as a “scaled down version of the Leap [commercial airline] engine.”
Meanwhile, competitor Rolls-Royce took the wraps off its new Pearl engine family with the first application, the 15,125-pounds-thrust Pearl 15, for the new Global 5500 and 6500.
Quietly in development for years, the Pearl builds on the BR700 family that has powered the Global 5000 and 6000 as well as the Gulfstream G550 and G650. The first variant, the Pearl 15, fits within the same nacelle package that is on the current Global 5000 and 6000 but incorporates numerous changes, adopting research involving key technologies derived from Rolls-Royce’s Advance2 engine technology demonstrator program. The result is a new core with a new high-pressure compressor, along with advanced engine health monitoring, low-emissions combustor, and a two-stage shroudless high-pressure turbine.
This engine family will mark its in-service debut next year when Bombardier hands off the initial members for the Global 5500 and 6500.
Looking to the future, GE, meanwhile, also had another business jet reveal, the Stage 5 Affinity engine for the Aerion AS2 supersonic jet. Based on the CFM56 core, the detailed design is expected and the first test article will be produced in 2020.