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Pratt & Whitney PurePower(TM) fan drive gear system sets endurance testing milestone

Pratt & Whitney successfully completed accelerated endurance testing equivalent to more than 20,000 hours of service operation on the PurePower PW1000G fan drive gear system. Pratt & Whitney is a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX) company.

"Results from the latest round of on-going tests continue to demonstrate the design robustness for the PurePower fan drive gear system," said Bob Saia, vice president, Next Generation Product Family, Pratt & Whitney. The fan drive gear system and its patented Geared Turbofan(TM) technology target double-digit reductions in fuel burn, environmental emissions, engine noise and operating costs.

More than 1,000 hours of laboratory testing on the fan drive gear system have produced significant accomplishments such as simulating more than 40,000 take offs "at the equivalent loads at 30,000 pounds of thrust" loads, with 15,000 of those being maximum torque takeoffs at extreme oil temperatures. Post-test inspections have revealed the gears, journal bearings and components to be in excellent condition after this rigorous testing.

The recent endurance testing for the fan drive gear system further supports the findings from the PW1000G demonstrator engine, which confirmed the system's robust design and efficiency with lower than predicted heat rejection into the engine oil system. The PW1000G Demonstrator Engine garnered 406 hours of operation with 120 hours in flight.

"The PW1000G engine demonstration program showed the fan drive gear system was invisible to the airplane, with overall operation of the geared turbofan engine the same as today's conventional engines, only with lower fuel consumption and drastically lower noise," said Saia.

The fan drive gear system does not use any life limited parts or exotic materials. It also allows for fewer engine stages, thus lowering overall engine weight and engine maintenance cost.

With the fan drive gear system, the PW1000G engine's low-pressure turbine can operate at higher rotational speeds for peak efficiency, while the engine's fan can operate at lower speeds compatible with optimum propulsive efficiency and significantly lower levels of noise. In addition, the fan drive gear system allows for a larger fan diameter that can accommodate more air flow.

The PurePower PW1000G engine demonstration program conducted in 2008 confirmed performance and noise projections for this advanced engine design. Engine noise measurement confirmed Pratt & Whitney's target of 20 decibels below today's stage 4 standard.

Press release issued by Pratt & Whitney Large Commercial Engines on August 19, 2009


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