The PW1100G geared turbofan engine suffered from teething troubles when it entered service, and a new problem has cropped up for the program:
“Pratt & Whitney (P&W) has determined that many more PW1100Gs might contain defective high-pressure turbine disks and therefore require accelerated removal and inspection.
The engine maker’s parent RTX disclosed on 25 July that 1,200 of the engines will need to be returned to P&W over the next year for inspections that require the engines be taken off wings and partly disassembled….
The new inspection requirements results from P&W using ‘contaminated’ powered metal to produce some high-pressure turbine disks, RTX chief executive Greg Hayes says during the company’s second-quarter earnings call on 25 July.”
(see the full story at Flight International)
This isn’t a long term problem for the PW1100G program, but it comes at a bad time. Airbus is ramping up production of the A320neo family after a period of engine shortages that delayed deliveries to airlines. What Airbus wants right now is a rock-solid supply chain. And airlines, obviously, do not like dealing with unexpected service issues that can potentially ground aircraft. I am not changing our forecast for the PW1100G yet, but it may make an impact on deliveries later in the year and in 2024.