Airbus A319neo Completes First Test Flight with GTF Engines

Apr 28, 2019

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Airbus has announced that the first test flight of an A319neo outfitted with Pratt and Whitney Geared Turbo Fan (GTF) power plants has been completed in Toulouse. The flight, which took place on Thursday, lasted just under three hours. The aircraft, MSN 6464, is the same plane that Airbus used for the certification of the CFM LEAP-1A engines, which received their final certifications from the FAA and EASA back in December of 2018.

First flight of A319neo with P&W GTF engines. Photo by Airbus.

Unlike a traditional turbo jet engine, which has a single shaft requiring all parts of the engine to turn at the same speed, the GTF allows for each set of blades and compressors to turn at their most fuel efficient speeds. This could mean huge fuel savings for airlines flying hardware equipped with the GTF power plants, as well as putting an airline in a better position if/when fuel prices rise.

The NEO, which simply means New Engine Option, is the latest revision to Airbus’ best selling family of aircraft. Pratt and Whitney has previously seen serious technical issues with the groundbreaking GTF engines sold on A320neos, from cooling issues to reported unknown engine vibrations. Recently, it seems like the company has been turning things around, working out issues both on the technical and production sides of the equation.

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Featured Photo by Airbus

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