Airbus has started development flight testing of Pratt & Whitney’s GTF Advantage engine on an A320neo aircraft with the initial goal of maturing the engine by “testing it in a variety of environments, including hot and cold weather and operation from high-altitude airports.” The test campaign is an extension of an ongoing product development partnership between Pratt & Whitney and Airbus. According to Pratt & Whitney, engine certification activities will continue through the first half of 2023 and include flights with the company’s flying test bed in Mirabel, Québec, Canada.
“GTF engines already offer the lowest fuel consumption and CO2 emissions for the A320neo family,” said Pratt & Whitney president of commercial engines Rick Deurloo. “The GTF Advantage engine extends that lead. It also enhances aircraft capability by increasing thrust and protects durability by running cooler. For airlines, this means new revenue opportunities and better operating economics. Our revolutionary geared fan architecture is the foundation for more sustainable aviation technologies in the decades ahead, and the GTF Advantage engine is the next step in that journey.”
As previously reported by AVweb, Pratt & Whitney began certification testing for the GTF Advantage last July. The company reports that the engine, which offers up to 34,000 pounds of takeoff thrust, has currently completed more than 2,400 hours and 7,800 cycles of testing. Compared to the current GTF model, the Advantage is expected to lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 1-percent, improve takeoff thrust by up to 4-percent at sea level and offer a takeoff thrust increase of up to 8-percent at higher altitudes. Pratt & Whitney is aiming to have the GTF Advantage available for A320neo family aircraft beginning in 2024.
Well, aside from all the self aggrandizing, and virtue signaling, this is how progress is made in the real world of the industry by incremental improvements not waiting for earth shattering energy density breakthroughs and imaginary regulatory indulgences.