Pratt & Whitney’s PW800 engine universe expands rapidly to meet growing demand

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Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PW800 business aviation engine is set to enter service on a third platform, the Dassault Falcon 6X, in 2023. The past few years have been exciting for the Pratt team. & Whitney Canada (P&WC) who brought the engine to market. According to Anthony Rossi, the company’s Vice President, Sales and Marketing, a cursory assessment of recent developments shows how quickly the PW800 is reaching critical mass, as befits an engine of this pedigree.

“Consider that it was in 1971 that the company’s first business jet engine – the JT15D – took flight into the nascent skies of business aviation powering the first generation of the Cessna Citation,” says Rossi. “For Pratt and Whitney Canada, the year was a turning point reflecting our decision to expand our business beyond the PT6A turboprop. Business aviation was not as ubiquitous as it is today, and the company took the risk – and seized the opportunity – to enter on the ground floor.

How times have changed.

A success story

The JT15D engine pioneered the business aviation market segment with its introduction; over the years 6,745 engines were produced, with a remarkable 4,344 engines still in service. New turbofan models followed – the PW300, PW500, PW600 and more recently the PW800 which powers the new generation of wide-body business jets. In total, to date, P&WC has produced approximately 20,200 business aviation engines, of which 16,500 are still in service, with the fleet having flown more than 108 million hours.

“The PW800 is the embodiment of all the learning and innovation evidenced by its turbofan predecessors,” says Rossi. “It is the most modern, efficient and environmentally friendly engine in its class. It offers double-digit improvements in fuel consumption, emissions and noise over the current generation of engines. The PW800 draws its heart from the Geared Turbofan Engine (GTF), which has been proven to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 20% for single-aisle aircraft and reduce NOx emissions by 50%.

The PW800 engine was unveiled in 2017 and entered service on the Gulfstream G500 in 2018 and on the Gulfstream G600 in 2019. It was also in 2018 that Dassault announced that it had selected the PW812D engine to power its new business jet Falcon 6X. The engine received type certification from Transport Canada in December 2021 and received type certification from EASA last August.

Third Gulfstream Platform

In October 2021, Gulfstream announced that it had selected the PW812GA engine to power its new G400 aircraft. This engine received Transport Canada type certification in September and EASA type certification is pending.

“We will provide a fully integrated powertrain solution comprised of the PW812GA engine and nacelle system supplied by Collins Aerospace,” Rossi said. “The PW812GA extends the application of the PW800 architecture, with optimizations for advanced G400 aircraft requirements, including the latest Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC), sophisticated technology to support monitoring engine condition and the use of advanced materials such as titanium and composites to deliver superior performance and uptime”

Shortly after announcing the PW800 engine, P&WC also took steps to establish its support network. In 2019, the company revealed that it was investing $30 million in its engine services facility in Bridgeport, West Virginia for maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) of PW800 engines.

“We chose the Bridgeport facility to provide PW800 MRO services because of the site’s wealth of technical expertise in business aviation engines and its excellent track record for quality, speed and reliability. value to our customers,” says Rossi.

Carbon offset service

Rossi says the company is keenly aware that concerns about aviation’s impact on the environment have reached a tipping point for many of its customers, particularly in business aviation. He points out that today the aeronautical industry contributes 2-3% of CO2 emissions. If left unchecked, this is expected to increase to 18% by 2050.

“At the end of 2020, we launched our carbon offset service for business aviation customers whose engines were enrolled in our Eagle Service™ Plan (ESP™) by the hour maintenance plan,” says Rossi. “With this service, operators offset the carbon footprint of their aircraft, while contributing to greater environmental sustainability. We have now extended the service to all of our engine models.

As part of the carbon offset service, Pratt & Whitney Canada and South Pole – a globally recognized provider of environmentally sustainable solutions – assume the role of estimating and offsetting aircraft emissions for the client. Signing up is easy and the service is convenient, transparent, economical and flexible, with customers only paying a service charge on their ESP bill when their aircraft is in the air. All customers will receive a certificate confirming that their carbon emissions have been offset.

Rossi says Pratt & Whitney Canada has a long-standing commitment to providing environmentally friendly products and solutions to its customers. This includes being one of the first companies to certify its engines for use with sustainable aviation fuels to find ways to minimize the impact of its operations and engines on the environment throughout their life cycle. Pratt & Whitney is part of an industry-wide commitment to achieve net-zero carbon emissions in air travel by 2050, in support of the Paris Agreement’s 1.5C target .

The company translates this commitment into innovative and concrete actions.

“One of the advantages of manufacturing engines that serve the entire aviation market is that developments from one engine family can be easily transferred to another,” says Rossi. “For example, lessons learned from our hybrid-electric demonstration program using a regional turboprop aircraft can be applied across our entire product portfolio, including business aviation.

30% reduction in fuel consumption

The hybrid-electric demonstrator aims for a 30% reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, compared to a modern turboprop regional airliner. This will be possible by optimizing performance during the different phases of flight. In the hybrid-electric arrangement, an electric motor and a heat engine operate in tandem, providing a boost in electric power during takeoff, when engine power is most needed.

“This reduces the size of the heat engine and optimizes cruise power, thereby reducing the overall weight of the aircraft,” says Rossi. “This weight reduction, coupled with the need for less heavy fuel, helps support the weight of the battery.”

P&WC is working with De Havilland Canada to integrate this hybrid-electric technology into a 30-passenger De Havilland Canada Dash 8-100 flight demonstrator. This demonstrator will include an advanced electric motor and controller from Collins Aerospace. Collins Aerospace and Pratt & Whitney are sister companies operating under Raytheon Technologies Corporation. In May 2022, the company announced that H55 SA would provide the battery systems for the program. The core competencies of the Swiss-based company are to develop modular, lightweight and safe propulsion and energy storage solutions.

The companies are targeting ground testing of the demonstration engine in 2022, with flight testing to follow in 2024.

Sustainable Aviation Fuels

“We are also making major progress in the use of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF),” says Rossi. “The tests we have performed are important steps in setting industry standards and accepting 100% SAF.”

He says P&WC is working with its OEM customer ATR to achieve 100% SAF compatibility. In June, ATR flew an ATR 72 aircraft (owned and operated by Braathens Regional Airlines) with two PW127M engines in production configuration using 100% SAF in both engines with outstanding results. It was the first time that a test of this type had been carried out. Earlier in the year, ATR had flight tested one of P&WC’s latest PW127XT-M engines on 100% SAF with the other engine burning standard jet fuel. Embraer also flew one of its E-Jets E2 aircraft with a GTF engine running at 100% SAF, again with excellent results.

Hydrogen fuel

“Beyond SAF, we believe hydrogen represents a zero-carbon opportunity – provided industry finds solutions to infrastructure challenges related to hydrogen production, storage and distribution systems,” says Rossi. “It is important to emphasize that engine technology for burning hydrogen is not a limiting factor and that Pratt & Whitney is able to convert our engines to allow direct combustion of H2 gas.”

P&WC is a business aviation leader with a portfolio spanning all segments, from very light jets to large cabin aircraft. They power more than a third of all business jets in the world. However, P&WC is also known for its reliable and reliable engines in all market segments, such as its iconic PT6A engine. A growth mindset and customer-centric approach, along with a commitment to innovation and sustainable initiatives are what have ensured the company’s success in all of its activities.

Whether extolling the virtues of the PW800 engine or highlighting Pratt & Whitney’s leadership in sustainable aviation, Rossi is obviously optimistic about the company’s prospects.

“As an engine builder, everything we do must deliver value to our customers,” says Rossi, “and this imperative will continue to serve us well as we face the many opportunities and challenges that the future holds. .”

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