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A320neo flights halted over PW1100G parts issue

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posted on May, 29 2015 @ 05:27 PM
Airbus has had to halt flights of the Pratt & Whitney powered A320neo test aircraft, over concerns about a clip holding seals in the engine. The part had an issue with thermal exposure during manufacture. The flights are only expected to be halted for a few days, and shouldn't have an effect on the delivery or certification schedules. The first delivery is to Qatar before the end of the year.

So far the two PW1100G powered aircraft have completed 130 flights, and 420 hours. The single Leap 1A powered aircraft has completed 6 flights and 24 hours.

This isn't the first time the geared turbofan has had problems since it was installed on aircraft. The PW1500 powering the Bombardier CSeries suffered a partially uncontained engine failure during testing last summer that grounded the aircraft for almost three months. Problems during development are expected, and some slack is designed into the testing programs because of it, but they still hurt.

TOULOUSE, France—Airbus has temporarily halted test flights with the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-powered A320neos because of a production-quality issue.

Airbus Executive Vice President-Programs Didier Evrard says a clip holding seals inside the engine needs to be replaced. Airbus traces the issue back to thermal exposure during production, which affects quality. According to Evrard, flights are suspended for a period of days, not weeks, and the overall schedule for the aircraft will not be affected.

posted on May, 29 2015 @ 08:50 PM
a reply to: Zaphod58

This seems like it's to be expected to a certain extent. The geared turbofan is the first major structural improvement to commercial jet engines since the rise of the 3-spool engines in the 70's.

We all know how many teething problems RR had with the RB211, which damn near bankrupted the company before going on to be seen as one of the greatest jet engine families ever made, the descendants of which are now flying as the Trent series.

I have every feeling that the PW1000G will go on to be seen in the same light.

posted on May, 29 2015 @ 08:53 PM
a reply to: Barnalby

Development is going surprisingly smoothly, considering they're developing something like five common core engines, and have certified two of them so far. They have only had the one really major problem, with the 1500. Development programs have gotten much better with the extended testing they undergo, as well as the computer modeling that they do before they even fire it up the first time.

posted on May, 30 2015 @ 12:37 AM
The Trent was a big step forward and I think gave the other manufacturers a good lesson in "testing" when the QANTAS A380 split a line during hard vibration..Little things matter in aircraft design.

posted on May, 31 2015 @ 05:35 PM
a reply to: Blackfinger
Agreed, the Trent 900 is a joy to work on compared to the earlier Rollers, and positively awesome compared to the spaghetti crash of the CF-6 which is an equally great engine. Its considered a right of passage to carry out mag plug checks on the CF-6 and then lock wire them (sometimes by hand!) for any green engineer or apprentice. And the RB-211 has some nasty pneumatic line changes that the manual tells you cannot be done without dropping the engine and de-riveting the hoop plate!

As you should know Blackfinger, the #2 eng T900 on VH-OQA only blew the IP/HP bearing oil feed stub line because RR stupidly went with counter-boring as a manufacturing technique and totally failed to bother with quality control. This of course led to offset boring mistakes that caused stress raisers and the eventual catastrophic failure which was attributed to the higher power setting that QF models run in order to get out of LAX's shorter runways on trans-Pacific flights with high fuel loads. What the public doesn't generally know is that the same oil feed tube also suffered from a vibration issue that caused the B-nut connection at the turbine case deflector assembly to back off and result in oil loss as well that led to other inflight shutdowns. Hence the need for lots of SB inspections on said deflector and B-nut for a couple of years to prove that the new deflector, index marking stripe and safety-cable system worked as planned.

As for the GTF on the A-320NEO, I would be interested to know which seals and clips they are referring too. Although I doubt this will be a major issue.


posted on May, 31 2015 @ 05:53 PM
a reply to: thebozeian

The only problems have been quality control related. There haven't been any design issues that have come to light yet so I doubt we'll see any at this point.

posted on May, 31 2015 @ 10:52 PM
Theres the old say "nothing happens until something happens."

posted on Jun, 4 2015 @ 10:46 PM
a reply to: thebozeian

It's a retaining ring and bracket mounted under the combustion chamber. The bracket detached during flight testing.

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