Friday, May 25, 2012

Middletown Mechanics Ready to Build New Jet Engine

Pratt & Whitney has announced that a good portion of the state-of-the-art geared turbofan jet engines for the Neo Airbus 320 and other planes will be built here in Middletown. The so called PurePower jet engines are already certified for flight in the Bombardier C-Series aircraft.

According to Hartford Courant:
Pratt & Whitney has decided to assemble some, and maybe the majority, of its engines for the Airbus A320 neo model — the largest booking of business by far for its new geared turbofan design — at its Middletown plant, an unexpected decision that was critical for preserving Pratt factory jobs in Connecticut. 
Factory workers have been waiting anxiously to find out if Middletown mechanics would be given the chance to assemble the PurePower engine, the model at the heart of Pratt's commercial engines future. 
"I've been after them for the last two contracts to give us some kind of inkling where they were going to build this thing," said Dave Durbin Sr., president of the Middletown local of the Machinists union, who was informed of the decision Thursday morning. 

More about these new jet engines:

                                             Pratt & Whitney PurePower Geared Turbofan Engine
In most jet engines (more properly called turbofans), the fan that pulls air into the engine is directly linked to the compressor that squeezes that air down for combustion, so they have to turn at the same rate. By placing gears between the compressor and the fan, decoupling the two, the Pure Power engine allows for a more efficient arrangement: a big, slow fan shoving air into a small, fast turbine. The result is a shorter, lighter engine that can produce the same amount of power as a larger conventional turbofan, while burning 12 to 15 percent less fuel and emitting 35 percent less carbon dioxide. Pratt & Whitney finished ground- and air-testing of the engine this year, and the first of them will go on the Bombardier C-Series jet starting in 2013.

Further reading: A Pratt & Whitney Flyover to Demonstrate New Engine

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