Pratt-Whitney has launched the energy-efficient Geared Turbofan engine to power the new Mitsubishi Regional Jet. The airframe application for the Geared Turbofan was designed to deliver a significant reduction in fuel burn and noise with lower environmental emissions and operating costs. The Mitsubishi Regional Jet is a 70 to 90 passenger aircraft. Mitsubishi expects a global demand of about 5,000 of the jets over the next 20 years.
The Geared Turbofan allows the engine's fan to operate independent of the low-pressure compressor and turbine, which results in greater fuel efficiency and a slower fan speed for less noise. Pratt-Whitney says the engine builds on more than 20 years of development with technology improvements in every module. Full-scale engine testing will begin later this year and flight testing is slated for 2008.