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Employees of the Mirabel Flight Test Center, in Quebec look on as the PurePower Geared Turbofan PW1900G engine (on left), which will power the Embraer E190-E2 and E195-E2 aircraft, undergoes a ground start in preparation for its inaugural flight on Pratt & Whitney's 747SP flying test bed.

Pratt & Whitney's PW1900G engine takes off

In early November, Pratt & Whitney's PW1900G PurePower Geared Turbofan (GTF) engine for the Embraer E190-E2 and E195-E2 aircraft, successfully completed its first flight, initiating the engine's flight test program for Embraer, PurePower's fourth airframer customer. Also on the PW1000G PurePower dance card is Bombardier, Mitsbushi, Irkut, and Airbus.

The E-Jet E2 program is one of two that Pratt & Whitney and Embraer are working together on. Pratt & Whitney is part of the collaboration that supplies the V2500-E5 engine for the Embraer KC-390, which is going through its certification campaign. Pratt & Whitney also supplies the auxiliary power unit for the E-Jet E2 program.

Just some of the reasons why five airframers have chosen the GTF engine is that the technology is said to reduce commercial aircraft fuel burn and carbon dioxide emissions by more than 16% and reduce regulated emissions by more than 50%. P&W claims that the engine will reduce CO2 emissions at a level equivalent to planting nearly 1 million trees or removing 3 million cars off the road—every year. Also, the engine reduces the aircraft noise footprint by more than 75%.

Overall, the PurePower engine family has completed more than 23,000 hours of testing and 40,000 cycles, and its impact in the industry is reflected by the GTF engine recently being cited as an Aviation Climate Solution by the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) at the Global Sustainable Aviation Summit in Geneva.

Aviation Climate Solutions is a collaboration within the aviation industry that has identified 100 examples, P&W's PW1900G being one such example, to cut carbon dioxide emissions and help reduce aviation's impact on climate change. During the Summit, an open letter from industry chief executives was released that reaffirmed the industry's commitment to climate action and called on governments to support it with the development of a global market-based measure for aviation emissions, improving efficiency in air traffic management, and accelerating research for alternative fuels and new technology.

"Aviation plays a vital role in the world economy, providing connectivity for people and business," said Michael Gill, Executive Director, ATAG. "Our industry has also taken a lead in climate action, putting in place a comprehensive framework and goals to reduce emissions from air transport. The Aviation Climate Solutions are a set of case studies showing how different parts of the industry all over the world, including Pratt & Whitney are working to reduce our climate impact."

In 2008, the aviation sector became the first to set global goals to proactively manage its climate change impact. The industry will stabilize its net CO2 emissions from 2020 through a concept called carbon-neutral growth, whereby traffic would continue to rise to meet social and economic demands, but growth would be offset through a global market-based measure. The longer-term goal is to reduce net CO2 emissions from aviation to half of what they were in 2005, by 2050.

"The PurePower GTF engine provides immense value to the future of sustainable aviation," said Dr. Alan Epstein, Pratt & Whitney's Vice President, Technology and Environment. "Its development spurred a new period of innovation among commercial aircraft manufacturers."

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