Indigo Airlines of India selected the PW P1000G Geared Turbo Fan for its order of 150 Airbus A320neos.
We’re at the PW Media Day and will be filing additional reports today. Up to this point, most of the activities have been associated with military and space programs, which we don’t follow closely.
We did confirm that PW is providing the PW 4000 for the KC-46A tanker. There had been some minor speculation that the secretive Boeing bid might have included plans for a 767-sized GTF; this isn’t the case.
PW revealed that it is undertaking a Program Improvement Package (PIP) for the tanker’s engines that will reduce fuel burn by 2%-3%. Coupled with the winglets appearing in Boeing artwork of the tanker (winglets provide a fuel burn reduction of 3.5% to 4% in 767 passenger service), this means the tanker on these two elements alone have a baseline fuel burn improvement of 5.5% to 7%. Of course, the extra equipment on the tanker–the wing pods, the refueling boom and the centerline hose-and-drogue–cause drag, offsetting some of this fuel gain.
It’s unknown if Boeing is improving the fuselage aerodynamics.
We asked PW if the engine PIP will find its way onto the commercial 767 and the answer is yes.
Thus, as we have written before, Boeing has the potential for a very attractive 767 “Next Gen” that incorporates the winglets, engine PIP and potentially aerodynamic improvements that typically provide another 1%-2% in fuel reduction.
Coupled with reduced production costs, Boeing can offer a low-priced 767 with substantial fuel burn reduction to extend the life of the program.
We’ll have more to say about this topic in the future.
As for the GTF, all of us media type were trundled onto a bus for a show and tell with the F-135 STOL-VTOL engine and the GTF. We got to hear the F-135 (it’s loud) but didn’t get to hear the GTF. There was an instrumentation failure on the test bed and PW testing protocol prohibited the company from demonstrating the engine.
Lest one think this is being picky, recall the Rolls-Royce’s uncontained engine failure on the 787 Trent 1000 began with instrumentation failure. After trouble-shooting the instruments for 25 tries, RR started the engine and the accumulated oil caught fire and blew up the engine.
Robert Saia, the chief of the GTF program, told us the engine weight is coming in under specifications and tests are ahead of schedule. We’ll have more on this topic later.
Parenthetically, while GE advocates that its rival engine to the F-135, which was defunded by Congress in a budget-cutting move, should be re-funded and would benefit the taxpayers from the competition, the company paid Zero in taxes in 2010. The hypocrisy is pretty cheeky on this one.