Airbus and Pratt & Whitney to test Geared Turbofan concept

As part of Airbus’ routine and on-going research into new technologies for the long term, Airbus and Pratt & Whitney announce an agreement to flight test a technology demonstrator version of Pratt & Whitney’s new Geared Turbofanâ„¢ engine. The tests will be performed on Airbus’ own A340 Flight Test aircraft during the fourth quarter of 2008.

The Geared Turbofan engine is one option Airbus is testing and the results will contribute to Airbus’ overall assessment of the different new engine technologies proposed by the engine manufacturers and the benefits they could bring for the future. At this point in time, the tests do not imply either a technological or a business decision on future product developments.

The Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan (GTF) is a high-bypass geared turbofan engine currently selected as the exclusive engine for both the Mitsubishi MRJ and Bombardier CSeries regional jets. The project was originally known as the Advanced Technology Fan Integrator (ATFI). The GTF allows the low-pressure section of the engine to rotate at a different frequency to that of the fan, enabling both components to operate at their most efficient speeds.

Pratt & Whitney claims the GTF will be 10% to 15% more fuel efficient than current engines as well as being substantially quieter.

Source: Airbus & Wikipedia