Volvo Aero has formed a partnership with the US engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney to demonstrate new technology for the aircraft engine of the future, "Geared Turbofan Technology."
It does not involve any agreement regarding a new engine program, but the new cooperation is still an important step toward a new engine undertaking for Volvo Aero.
Pratt & Whitney's coming geared turbofan engines involve a new technology leap for commercial aircraft engines. The intention is that it will be used in the next generation of medium-class (single-aisle) aircraft, which will replace today's Boeing 737 and the Airbus A320.
It is projected that the new engines will provide for 12% less fuel burn and that the noise level will be 30 decibels lower than the so-called Stage 3 requirements. The first ground tests are scheduled for the second half of 2007 and thereafter the engines will be test flown
Volvo Aero recently ordered forged and cast goods for the turbine exhaust case and low pressure turbine case that will be part of the new demonstrator.
Pratt & Whitney will be cooperating with Volvo Aero, German MTU and Italian Avio in the development work.
"It is highly inspiring for us that Pratt & Whitney has chosen Volvo Aero as a partner in this work," says Olof Persson, President of Volvo Aero. "We view this as a first strategic step toward Volvo Aero positioning itself for the future in this important market segment to develop and manufacture one of the engines that will dominate the market for many years.
Volvo Aero in Trollhattan, Sweden, brings expertise in turbine exhaust case technology to the geared turbofan development.
"We assume that it was our unique technological know-how in turbine exhaust casings that resulted in our being assigned this role in the demonstrator phase of Pratt & Whitney's engine with geared turbofan. Our technology efforts in lightweight concepts will later in the product play an important role establishing us as a key partner in this engine," adds Olof Persson.
"Our market research had indicated that customers of the next-generation single-aisle aircraft will be equally focused on engine performance and cost of operation," says Steve Heath, former President, Pratt & Whitney Commercial Engines.
"Pratt & Whitney, together with our business partners, MTU, Avio and Volvo Aero, are committed to developing and maturing the geared turbofan technology in advance of the next-generation single-aisle aircraft", Heath adds.