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Pratt & Whitney PurePower Engine powers Bombardier CSeries first flight; geared turbofan

Pratt & Whitney’s PurePower engine successfully powered Bombardier’s new CSeries airplane on its maiden flight on Monday. The PW1500G engine, which achieved engine certification from Transport Canada in February, is the first of six new engine programs using Pratt & Whitney’s Geared Turbofan architecture to power an aircraft. (Earlier post.) Pratt & Whitney is a United Technologies Corp. company.

The fan drive gear system for Geared Turbofan engines. Click to enlarge.

In a Geared Turbofan engine, an advanced fan drive gear system allows the engine’s fan to operate at a speed different from that of the low-pressure compressor and turbine, resulting in greater fuel efficiency and a slower fan speed which results in less noise.

Built on the foundation of the company’s successful fifth generation fighter engines, the PW1000G Geared Turbofan engine family includes micro-circuit internal cooling to enhance durability and efficiency. Additionally, the leading edge coating technology derived and proven in the harshest environments provides the engine’s airfoils with a “non-stick” barrier that is critical for high temperatures and harsh environments.

Our PW1500G will improve engine fuel efficiency by 16 percent and reduce airline engine operating costs by up to 20 percent. The PurePower engine slashes noise footprints by up to 75 percent compared to existing turbofan engines.

—Dave Brantner, president, Pratt & Whitney Commercial Engines

The first-flight milestone is a key step forward to aircraft certification and entry-into-service. To date, the PW1500G engine has completed 3,000 hours of ground and flight testing.

Final assembly for the PW1500G engines will be at Pratt & Whitney Canada’s Mirabel Aerospace Centre in Mirabel, Québec. UTC Aerospace Systems, formed after UTC’s acquisition of Goodrich, provides the nacelle system.

First flight. Click to enlarge.



Engines and planes will be assembled in Mirabel Airport.

According to the 2,000+ people present, this could be the most quiet Jet to fly to date.


That's good to hear (pun intended) but it won't do much for aviation emissions. There will be more pressure to relax flight curfews as planes get quieter. Here in Sydney there's already huge pressure to extend flight hours at Kingsford-Smith, which is only a few suburbs away from the CBD and with flight paths across heavy residential areas (including me!). Recent research from MIT indicated that flights to/from NZ & Australia across the Pacific are the worst for climate sensitivity.


Biff..thees new engines are also 15% to 20% more efficient. For short trips (NZ to AU) the TurboJet Bombadier Q400E would be more efficient and more quite?


The other side of this is that low-pressure compressor and turbine speeds can be increased, which reduces their required diameter and/or number of stages.  The engine gets smaller and more efficient.

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