Pratt & Whitney Launches Improved GTF for A320neo

 - December 2, 2021, 10:56 AM
Pratt & Whitney has flown the new iteration of the GTF engine on its 747 testbed since March. (Photo: Pratt & Whitney)

Pratt & Whitney on Thursday launched a new version of its Geared Turbofan (GTF) engine meant to reduce fuel consumption by another 1 percent in the Airbus A320neo. Called the GTF Advantage, the new configuration also will deliver higher thrust, both at sea level and for "hot and high" airports, allowing for increased range and payload. Generating up to 34,000 pounds of takeoff thrust per engine, the Advantage configuration makes GTF the most powerful engine for the A320neo family.

The company cites a 16 percent improvement in fuel consumption for the GTFs already in service compared with previous-generation engines, namely the IAE V2500 turbofans. The Advantage will take that improvement to 17 percent, according to the company, as well as allow for compatibility with 100 percent sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

The GTF Advantage configuration includes technology enhancements throughout the engine core, for which Pratt & Whitney has completed more than a year of ground runs and flight testing, which began on a 747 testbed in March. Upon its introduction in January 2024, the Advantage will allow customers to mix the new configuration with current GTFs and will become the new production standard for the A320neo family.

"We always said our geared fan architecture has a long runway for growth and future development, and the GTF Advantage demonstrates this," said Tom Pelland, senior vice president of GTF engines at Pratt & Whitney. “Our gear system, and the overall engine architecture it enables, are foundational to unlock the benefits of advanced aerodynamics, materials, and systems. We are committed to continuing to invest in these technologies for the next generation of commercial aircraft.”

Although the company targeted the improvements for the A320neo, the technologies that allowed for its application in the Airbus program will likely find their way into other programs, according to Pelland.

Pratt says the Advantage will especially benefit the long-range versions of the A321neo, significantly expanding the list of transatlantic city pairs operators envisioned for the A321XLR, for example.