With over 13,000 large commercial engines installed, Pratt & Whitney is no amateur to this business. So lets cut some flak. The GTF engine is a class by its one and as a Head of Engineering of a major airline told aerospacediary: “ Technology such as this takes some time to get off ground.” He added: “Remember the battery issue in the 787s? Now we hardly talk about it.”
Even the aviation ministry said recently in-flight shutdown cases in A320neos in India are less than global average but it would do a comparable study to assess the timeline of teething issues in new engines.
So, at a meeting at the ministry when senior aviation ministry officials met with their stakeholders to discuss the GTF performance of the A320neos, the only issue and status to be give by Pratt was regarding the main gearbox and status of root cause analysis. Pratt has said work is on and will be submitted to the DGCA in a few weeks. Secretary Choubey confirmed Pratt is working on resolving the issue related to the main /accessory gear box.
There seems to be some confusion regarding the main gear box (MGB) which is a standard component of every engine, with the fan drive gear system which is unique and central to the architecture of the GTF engine. There were a few incidents with the MGB on a GTF engine which occurred late last year and earlier this year.
It is essential to know the main gear box is:
A standard engine component, not specific to the GTF, that provides power for aircraft and engine systems.
The aircraft has three sources of power: two MGBs (one per engine) plus an APU (auxiliary power unit), so there are multiple redundancies built into the aircraft.
The MGB sits outside the engine; the fan drive gear system is separate from the MGB.