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Pratt & Whitney engines: The metal powder problem is also present in the Airbus A220 and Embraer E2

Pratt & Whitney engines: The metal powder problem is also present in the Airbus A220 and Embraer E2

Other types of Pratt & Whitney turbofans require an inspection to check the turbine discs. It now also affects Airbus A220 and Embraer E2 aircraft.

It’s about turbine discs: In July, it was announced that about 1,200 engines of the Airbus A320 Neo family aircraft would have to undergo special inspection. Pratt & Whitney PW1100G drives should be inspected for a possible metal powder problem.

Lars Wagner, president of the German company MTU participating in the engine program, explained that it is a metal powder that “is melted into a blank under high pressure and temperatures in the manufacturing process at Pratt & Whitney.” A turbine disc is produced from this blank. “Anomalies have occurred during the forging process, where materials from the manufacturing process have been introduced that do not belong,” Wagner said at the time. This poses a risk of cracks forming.

PW1500G and PW1900G are affected

On October 24, Pratt & Whitney announced that two other types of turboprops were also affected by the issue: the PW1500G, which powers the Airbus A220, and the PW1900G, which is used in Embraer E2 jets.

Some A220s and Embraer E2s are expected to remain on the ground for inspections “in the first half of 2024,” Chris Calio, who heads operations at Pratt & Whitney parent RTX, said in an interview with analysts.

Shorter courses are set

The impact will be small, Calio said, as the majority of inspections could be completed as part of upcoming inspections. The RTX director did not provide any numbers about the number of aircraft and engines participating.

He promised there would likely be service bulletins in November and then airworthiness directives. “We will specify a shorter life for some of the early configuration parts and an inspection requirement of about 5,000 cycles for the current configuration parts,” Calio said.

Problem with V2500 “Very easy to manage”

According to Calio, about 100 of the V2500 engines that power the A320 CEO family will have to be inspected in the next four years due to the metal powder issue. He described this as “very manageable”.