Pratt & Whitney and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are investing $50 million to develop an ultra-quiet engine fan and advanced combustion technology designed to reduce noise, emissions, and fuel consumption as part of the third phase of the FAA’s Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions and Noise (CLEEN III) initiative. Pratt & Whitney has been an FAA partner since the program’s inception in 2010.
Pratt & Whitney will match the FAA’s $25 million funding for the development of technologies that will continue to make jet engines more fuel efficient, leading to lower emissions, and helping make air travel more sustainable. Pratt & Whitney ushered in a new era of commercial propulsion with the introduction of the Geared Turbofan (GTF) engine for single-aisle aircraft in 2016. Since its introduction in 2016, the GTF family of engines has helped 54 operators save more than 500 million gallons of jet fuel and avoid 4.9 million metric tonnes of CO2 over 9.3 million flight hours.
“We are honoured to continue to partner with the FAA to explore advanced engine technologies and deliver additional significant fuel savings and environmental benefits. This third award is a result of our proven track record over the last 11 years, working on FAA CLEEN I and II strategies and deliverables,” said Frank Preli, vice president of propulsion and materials technologies at Pratt & Whitney.
Previous CLEEN awards in 2010 and 2015 supported the development of an ultra-low fan pressure ratio engine coupled with a short inlet, as well as compressor and turbine technologies that build upon the company’s revolutionary geared engine architecture. Pratt & Whitney will use these advancements as a base to drive even higher efficiency and lower greenhouse gas emissions in its GTF engines.
“Our GTF engines already offer the highest efficiency and lowest CO2 emissions for single-aisle aircraft – with a dramatically smaller noise footprint,” said Tom Pelland, senior vice president of GTF engines at Pratt & Whitney. “Today’s FAA CLEEN III award will help us build on that success and aligns with our focus on driving sustainable solutions for our customers and the industry.”