Pratt and Whitney close to fix for A320neo engines: report

written by australianaviation.com.au | June 22, 2018
A file image of an Airbus A320neo. (Airbus)
A file image of an Airbus A320neo. (Airbus)

Pratt and Whitney has nearly completed the redesign of a faulty engine part responsible for delays to deliveries of the Airbus A320neo family of aircraft, a news report says.

The Bloomberg news agency reported on June 19 Airbus executive Klaus Roewe telling reporters the engine maker was “close to finalizing the redesign”.

“We’re reasonably confident that the engine makers are going to meet their commitments,” Roewe said at the opening of the A320neo final assembly line in Hamburg on June 14, according to Bloomberg.

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“We have good transparency.”

Bloomberg said that once the fix was approved by regulators, “the revamped knife-edge seal would be fitted to turbines during regular maintenance and without any further disruption”.

Pratt and Whitney’s PurePower PW1100G geared turbofan is one of two engine options available to customers of the A320neo family of aircraft, alongside the CFM International LEAP-1A.

In early February, Airbus said an issue had been identified on a limited number of recently-delivered Pratt and Whitney GTF engines affecting the high pressure compressor aft hub, following a number of cases of in-flight engine shutdowns.

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That had led to some aircraft being grounded and some deliveries postponed.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) placed some restrictions on operating certain A320neo and A321neo aircraft fitted with the Pratt and Whitney engines.

Locally, the Qantas Group has 99 LEAP-powered A320neo family aircraft on order for its Jetstar low-cost carrier operations. In February, Qantas announced Jetstar would receive the first of 18 long-range A321neoLRs from mid-2020.

The aircraft have been earmarked for Jetstar’s Australian domestic network, as well as on flights from Melbourne and Sydney to the popular Indonesian tourist destination Denpasar.

Meanwhile, Air New Zealand has ordered 13 A320neo family aircraft – comprised of six A320neos and seven A321neos – powered by the PW1100G. First delivery was slated to take place later in calendar 2018. Air New Zealand has said previously the aircraft would initially be deployed on trans-Tasman and South Pacific routes.

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