Airbus: 200 PW engines replaced, 100 more to go

Following a spate of PW engine snags on A320 Neos last year, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had said no Neo with even a single unmodified PW engine would be allowed to fly after May 31, 2020. Airbus and PW’s in past few weeks have logged a replacement rate of one engine daily after that directive.

NEW DELHI: India’s tough stand on replacing Pratt & Whitney’s (PW) unmodified — and snag-prone — engines with modified or upgraded ones for the Airbus A320 Neos is paying off.

IndiGo, the world’s largest A320 Neo customer, and GoAir, have 150 Neos with PW engines between them.

“Each (PW-powered Neo) in India now has at least one modified engine. PW has so far replaced 200 engines on Neos. Now, only 100 more unmodified PW engines for Neos — which also meet all standards and are perfectly safe — remain to be replaced,” Anand Stanley, president and MD of Airbus (India and South Asia), told TOI on Friday.

Following a spate of PW engine snags on A320 Neos last year, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had said no Neo with even a single unmodified PW engine would be allowed to fly after May 31, 2020.

Airbus and PW’s in past few weeks have logged a replacement rate of one engine daily after that directive. Asked if this deadline will be met, Stanley said, “We are fully committed to complying with the DGCA directive on replacing the engines and are making rapid progress towards that goal.”

Ashmita Sethi, who recently took over as the MD of PW (India), told TOI in her first media interaction: “With the ongoing deliveries of upgraded engines for replacement, the number of engines to be changed is decreasing every day. About 200 engines have already been replaced till now. Only about 100 remain. Very rapid progress is being made,” With India being the world’s biggest A320 Neo market, PW is now working to set up a maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) unit here and is tying up with AI Engineering Services Ltd for this.

The 100 unmodified engines awaiting replacement mean 100 Neos of IndiGoNSE -1.35 % and GoAir have one modified and one unmodified engine under their wings while 50 have both modified engines. Stanley dismissed any safety fears over Neos with one unmodified engine.

“There have been teething issues (with PW engines for Neos) which are resolved. Last year we say two new issues with the gear box and low pressure turbine third stage. Fixes have been found for both,” Stanley, an engineer by training who started his aerospace career with PW, said.

The modified PW engines come with those fixes and Airbus says it has not seen the snags recur on this version on Neos being used in India and abroad.

“The unmodified engines have got the gearbox fix and have put in additional procedures to improve durability of this engine. While the issues with this engine have caused undesirable inconvenience to both airlines and passengers which we regret, Airbus Neos with these engines are also completely safe. At no time is safety negotiable for Airbus, ever. An Airbus aircraft is released only when it meets all safety standards, irrespective of the power plant on it,” Stanley said.

Source : Economic Times

Image Source : Airbus

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