Pratt & Whitney Canada is starting to push its new PurePower PW800 engine.  The PW800 fits into PW&C’s business aircraft category and operates in the 10,000 lbs thrust and higher class.  This engine shares a common core with the P&W geared turbofan (PW1000G).

Currently the PW800 powers the Gulfstream G500 and G600.  This was a major coup for P&WC, as they displaced long time engine supplier Rolls-Royce for the new Gulfstream jets.

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The engine contains much of the latest technology from the P&W and P&WC library.  For example, the PW800 uses the TALON X combustor – which allows the engine to generate 50% lower NOx and 35% less CO2 than ICAO standards.  The engine also meets stage IV noise limits.

The PW800 was granted Transport Canada certification in February 2015. There are two versions of the engine to date: PW814GA used on the G500 (approximately 15,000 lbs thrust) and the PW815GA for the G600 (approximately 16,000 lbs thrust).  The first engine flew on a G500 in May 2015.  P&WC delivers the engine to Gulfstream as a package, the core and nacelle put together, sort of a “plug and play” solution.  As of April 2016, the engine has accumulated over 6,500 hours, over 10,000 cycles and over 300 flights.

The impressive nacelle is designed to make maintenance easy for the mechanics.  The picture demonstrates how the vbrnacelle has steps incorporated into the cowl doors and large access panels in the engine bypass ducts allowing mechanics to quickly and efficiently access the engine.  P&WC claims the engine requires 40% less scheduled maintenance and 20% fewer inspections than other engines in its class.

The engine core size on the PW814GA and PW815GA is most similar to that used on the Bombardier CSeries and Embraer E2.  The PW800 does not use a geared fan.  But it does share the GTF’s astounding low noise footprint.  P&WC claim the PW800 exceeds the FAA’s requirements by “double digits”.  The sound attenuation comes from acoustic treatments, aerodynamic design and a deeply fluted mixer with a high bypass ratio.

The PW800’s competition includes the SNECMA Silvercrest and GE Passport.  These three engines are used by the top end business aircraft.

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In discussing the engine with us, P&WC assured us the PW800 as flown on the G500 is “meeting or exceeding” expectations.  They are very pleased and feel the engine performance may turn out a “bit better” than expected.  The key message from P&WC is that the engine is certified and delivering.  Delivering is a crucial item for these high end business aircraft.

Of the applications for these engines, only the PW800-powered Gulfstream is flying.  This has been a crucial advantage for Gulfstream because customers for these types of aircraft have a low tolerance for delays.  Gulfstream SVP for worldwide sales and marketing Scott Neal said, at the Singapore airshow, that they had picked up customers who had cancelled orders for the Global 7000/8000 and Falcon 5X.  Launch customers Flexjet and Qatar Airways placed substantial orders. Gulfstream has an industry reputation of delivering on time and on spec.  The importance of being selected for their new aircraft is a big win for P&WC.

The Global 7000 and 8000 are still being built – we got to see the wing skin for a 7000 on a recent visit to SONACA in Montreal.  The program has seen a two-year delay.  Bombardier has struggled with the Global program because much of the firm’s resources (capital and engineers) have been sucked up by the CSeries.   In November 2015 the company was at pains to reassure the market it had its hands on the program’s challenges.

The Falcon 5X has been built and is supposed to have its first flight in 2017.  The program has seen some engine problems. Initially the aircraft was meant to use the Rolls-Royce RB282.  But in 2009 Dassault reopened the selection process and chose the SNECMA Silvercrest.  However, the Silvercrest also seems to be facing challenges; engine certification was originally planned in for year end 2010 or early 2011. Now it is scheduled for the first half of 2016.  Further engine delays could mean Dassault goes back to the market to consider something else – like a PW800 perhaps? After all, their 7X uses the PW307.

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Addison Schonland
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Co-Founder AirInsight. My previous life includes stints at Shell South Africa, CIC Research, and PA Consulting. Got bitten by the aviation bug and ended up an Avgeek. Then the data bug got me, making me a curious Avgeek seeking data-driven logic. Also, I appreciate conversations with smart people from whom I learn so much. Summary: I am very fortunate to work with and converse with great people.

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