Pratt & Whitney says it is working with Airbus to evaluate the impact of findings last week relating to a knife edge seal on the High Pressure Compressor (HPC) aft hub on a “limited subpopulation” of the PW1100G-JM engine that powers the Airbus A320neo aircraft.

Pratt & Whitney implemented an engineering change in mid-2017 that was intended to improve the durability of the knife edge seal for this engine.  Engines that incorporated this engineering change entered revenue service on customer aircraft from December 2017.  In late January and early February of this year, four of these modified engines did not perform as anticipated.

Reports note that, following an Airbus alert, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued an order on  February 9 placing restrictions on operators around the engine.

Mitigation plan

Pratt & Whitney, in coordination with Airbus, will present a proposed mitigation plan for the modified configuration to regulatory authorities this week.

The company says 43 engines installed on 32 aircraft are currently affected. Of these 32 aircraft, 21 have one engine with the modified configuration, and 11 have two engines with that configuration.  There are also approximately 55 such engines delivered to the Airbus final assembly line awaiting installation on customer aircraft.

A statement notes: “Pratt & Whitney is working with Airbus to implement the remediation plans set forth in its all operator transmission.  The company is also working to assess an overall industrial and delivery plan to minimise customer disruption.  Pratt & Whitney will be in a position to provide greater detail around the remediation plan and impact, if any, on its 2018 delivery plan, once the regulatory authorities address its proposed solution.”