Pratt & Whitney Transforming Aviation

Pratt & Whitney is committed to continued customer support to meet the new demands of the 21st century. The PurePower GTF engines are a leader in sustainable aviation. These engines are cleaners, greener and quieter. Pratt & Whitney is transforming aviation with the most technologically advanced engines on the commercial engines, military engines, small jet and turboprop engines. The company opened its Global Customer Training Centre in Hyderabad, India, in September 2015. This is the third centre of its kind in the world. Palash Roy Chowdhury, Managing Director, Pratt & Whitney India, in conversation with Neetu Dhulia of SP’s AirBuz.

Issue: 4 / 2017Photo(s): By Pratt & Whitney,

Neetu Dhulia (SP’s): What is Pratt & Whitney’s contribution to the emerging aviation market in the country?

Palash Roy Chowdhury (Chowdhury): Pratt & Whitney is part of United Technologies Corporation, one of the world’s largest suppliers of aerospace products, with an established presence in India. Offering engine solutions for over seven decades now, Pratt & Whitney has played a significant role in India’s aviation growth story. The company’s product suite includes large commercial engines, military engines, small jet and turboprop engines and other general, regional and civilian powered flight engines. Best known for its advanced technology and unique manufacturing techniques, Pratt & Whitney is committed to continued customer support to meet the new demands of the 21st century. The company is proudly leading the industry by creating environmentally friendly processes, innovative services and more efficient engines. There are well over 100 aircraft in India powered by V2500 engines made by Pratt & Whitney and International Aero Engines AG, a consortium in which Pratt & Whitney is a majority shareholder. The company is now delivering the PurePower® Geared Turbofan™ engines for Airbus aircraft ordered by airlines in India. There are also ten C-17 military transport aircraft in India that are powered by Pratt & Whitney’s F117 engines.

Today Pratt & Whitney Canada powers close to 400 aircraft in general aviation, business aviation, regional aircraft and helicopters in India. This includes small turboprop in PT6 class and PW127 and PW150 on Regional aircraft, PW300, PW500, PW600 turbofans on corporate jets and turboshaft engines such as PT6B, PT6t and PW200. Pratt & Whitney Canada also powers the latest Turboprop trainers (Pilatus) inducted by the Indian Air Force. Pratt & Whitney is transforming aviation with the most technologically advanced engines on the commercial engines, military engines, small jet and turboprop engines, and other general, regional and civilian powered flight engines. With 26 development and production engine programmes, today is one of the most exciting chapters in Pratt & Whitney’s history.

SP’s: How do you foresee India’s Aviation market in view of the UDAN scheme?

Chowdhury: India is an important strategic market for Pratt & Whitney and we see a tremendous opportunity in the Indian government’s regional connectivity scheme, UDAN which will accelerate air travel penetration through regional connectivity and will make air travel affordable for many in India. UDAN scheme is a game-changer, as it will stimulate regional connectivity through a market-based mechanism thereby creating huge demands for air travel. This will also act as a multiplier effect in unlocking India’s tourism potential, increasing trade and creating job opportunities across verticals. As we move forward, we are slated to have hundreds of Geared Turbofan engines powering aircraft in India. This will be one of the largest install bases for our GTF engine on aircraft. In the regional connectivity space, aircraft such as the ATR or Q400 are powered by P&W Canada engines. As a long-cycle business, Pratt & Whitney has and will continue to make substantial investments in shaping the future of India’s civil aviation sector. We understand and are committed to serving the growing demands of our customers with a futuristic approach of improving the jet engine technology, which will power the industry for decades to come.

SP’s: How does Pratt & Whitney contribute in reducing the carbon footprint?

Chowdhury: Pratt & Whitney is developing and powering nextgeneration propulsion systems and technologies that provide an immediate path to fuel efficiency, lower emissions and noise reduction. The need to reduce fuel consumption is one of the key requirements of the aviation sector. We have come out with a combination of improved engine technology, aerodynamic improvements and weight-saving technology in our engines which are effective in reducing the carbon footprint. The PurePower GTF engines are a leader in sustainable aviation. These engines are cleaners, greener and quieter.

Cleaner. The Pure Power PW1000G engine family cuts fuel consumption by 16 percent versus today’s best engines from regional jets to mainline single-aisle aircraft. Fuel efficiency with the new-generation of engines will save airlines about 15 billion gallons of fuel, lowering fuel costs by $40 billion from now to 2025. We are working on Gen2 turbofan technology which is targeting additional fuel burn savings for the 2020s and beyond.

Greener. The reduction in emissions among the new-generation engines will allow airlines to avoid 160 million tonnes of CO2 emissions through 2025 and cut carbon emissions by more than 3,600 metric tonnes every year; equivalent to taking three million cars off the road.

Quieter. The PurePower PW1000G engine family reduces the noise footprint by 75 percent. That effectively means that in a surrounding airport community, such as LaGuardia Airport in the New York City area, about 500,000 fewer airport neighbours will be impacted with the noise from takeoff and landing.


The GTF is already validated for five different advanced biofuels, and we are co-leading the process of approving even more. GTF engines address the whole picture, fuel, emissions, noise and maintenance.

SP’s: Could you elaborate on your Make in India initiatives?

Chowdhury: India is one of the most important strategic markets. Pratt & Whitney recognises the country’s world-class engineering and technical proficiencies as well as market opportunities it offers. As a company that is deeply embedded in India as an investor, we firmly support the ‘Make in India’ campaign that translates the government’s vision of making India a global manufacturing hub. We intend to contribute to the sustainable economic growth and generate employment opportunities by building a strong ecosystem for nurturing innovation and jet engine production in the country. Pratt & Whitney sources engineering and design services from a number of Indian companies for some of its most advanced aerospace products. We have over 1,000 engineers in India working on global projects. We have established a chair and a centre of excellence at the renowned Indian Institute of Science focusing on high-end research in the area of turbo machinery.

SP’s: Tell us about the Pratt & Whitney’s Customer Training Centre India.

Chowdhury: Pratt & Whitney opened its Global Customer Training Centre in Hyderabad, India in September 2015. This is the third centre of its kind in the world after US and China and has been established to support our customers in the region. The centre will also help address the shortage of a skilled work force in India’s aviation industry. This world-class facility received certification from DGCA in April 2017, which means that the training centre is now fully approved to offer DGCA-approved training sessions on V2500-A5 engines. It is expected to soon offer courses on PW1100G-JM and other models from the PurePower® Geared Turbofan™ family of engines. We have already provided over 2000 student days training and are working with a number of universities and state governments to establish a robust aviation skill development platform in the country.

SP’s: How do you plan to handle the glitches in the engines of the A-320neo airliners?

Chowdhury: We are effectively addressing the early-service items with the help of our partners and customers. The engines are performing as promised in terms of fuel efficiency, emissions and reduction of noise footprint. The GTF engines continue to produce 16 percent fuel efficiency, 50 percent carbon emission reduction and 75 percent noise reduction, making it the engine of choice for the future.

SP’s: Can you tell us about Pratt & Whitney’s aftermarket service EngineWise™?

Chowdhury: Pratt & Whitney offers a unique combination of technology and innovation that can help improve engine maintenance planning for customers. Pratt & Whitney is unifying its aftermarket service portfolio through EngineWise™, the branded suite of aftermarket services, and will introduce new offerings to support customers’ evolving needs. It illustrates our commitment to provide smart maintenance solutions to help our customers respond faster to their operational needs to run their businesses efficiently. A key element of EngineWise is our use of data to predict maintenance needs and possibly prevent off-wing events, in partnership with our customers. Our philosophy is shared intelligence; the smarter we are together, the better service we can provide our customer. It offers a number of advantages, including:

  • State-of-the art data analytics and real-time intelligence to help predict and prevent operational disruptions before they occur.
  • Significant investments in new technology and resources to increase responsiveness and flexibility.
  • A growing portfolio of service offerings to provide smarter, more straightforward solutions.
  • Improved customer communications to drive more transparency and connectivity with our customers.

Major offerings under the Pratt & Whitney EngineWise Service brand include:

  • Fleet Management Programmes – A customised, comprehensive dollar-per-flight-hour agreement to optimise cost of ownership over the life cycle of an engine.
  • Engine Overhaul Services – For operators who prefer the assurance of a fixed price or time and material engine maintenance solution.
  • Material Solutions – New and serviceable parts and part repair services provided by the engine OEM designed to extend part life and improve residual value.
  • New service offerings will continue to be added over time, based on customer needs.

SP’s: Can you briefly talk about your new brand platform – ‘Go Beyond’ and what it focuses on?

Chowdhury: We recently launched ‘Go Beyond’ - our new brand platform which represents both the company’s long-standing commitment to accelerating the technology of modern flight and the ‘never stop solving’ mindset of our employees. Over the course of Pratt & Whitney’s 90-plus year history, one element of culture has always stood out and that is dedication to pushing limits and ‘going beyond’ to find the next great innovative step forward. Every day we touch upon lives of people who depend on Pratt & Whitney engines in service today and it is a singular honour for everyone at Pratt & Whitney.

This new platform is based on three solid imperatives:

  • Empowering our employees.
  • Optimising our operations. Engaging customers to transform their experience.

With this new promising platform, We ‘go beyond’ for our partners, customers, and most of all, for each other, because we understand what we do results in people connecting with each other, economies benefiting from greater access to markets and trade, and ensuring militaries around the world are mission ready. P&W has always been a leader in innovation and we take a purposeful approach to our digital strategy to continue our industry leadership. Our story goes beyond just data points, to the creation of practical, pragmatic solutions that drive employee’s wellbeing and customer satisfaction. We are intent on delivering this value through prudent investments, building and expanding our digital solutions to get there.

SP’s: You have been appointed as the Chairman of USIBC India-Task Force on Civil Aviation. What are the objectives of this task force?

Chowdhury: I am honoured to be entrusted with the responsibility of leading this initiative at a time when the Indian aviation industry is poised to scale new heights. With the Task Force, we intend to support growth of US corporations in India by aligning with the priority areas of the Indian government and further nurture the spirit of entrepreneurship and job creation to successfully contribute to the global economy in the coming years.The India-Task Force aims to promote bilateral dialogue by being the voice of the industry, partnering with governments to organise trade missions and advocating for regulatory changes on behalf of its members. The Task Force will engage with various stakeholders to promote international best practices and address potential hurdles that surface as American and Indian companies deepen engagement in India’s burgeoning civil aviation market.

SP’s: What all is being done in the regime of bio-fuels? Can you share the status on its implementation?

Chowdhury: Pratt & Whitney has world-leading expertise in the development, testing, validation and combustion engineering of sustainable alternative jet fuels (SAJF). Millions of gallons of SAJFs have been contracted by commercial airlines with various fuel suppliers worldwide and Pratt & Whitney engines seamlessly fly with it every day. Our company continues to examine ways to expand our involvement with and usage of SAJFs within our own operations.

More robust facts are as under:

  • Five sustainable alternative jet fuels (SAJFs) are approved for use in commercial jet aircraft today.
  • Seven more are in the testing and approval cycle.
  • All are blends of a pure bio-fuel or synthetic fuel with conventional petroleum-based Jet-A.
  • P&W has world-leading expertise in SAJF compositions, testing, validation, and combustion engineering.
  • P&W has a key technical leadership position within the ASTM subcommittee responsible for SAJF approval.
  • All engine OEMs participate in the approval process and all have to concur on approval.
  • Once approved, SAJF may be used in any manufacturer’s engines.
  • Approved SAJFs are functionally indistinguishable from conventional Jet-A fuel.
  • Millions of gallons of SAJFs have been contracted by commercial airlines with various fuel suppliers worldwide and P&W engines seamlessly fly with it every day.
  • The principle advocacy group for SAJF is the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI).
  • P&W is very active within CAAFI, with leadership positions including co-lead of CAAFI’s R&D technical committee.
  • P&W is continuously examining ways to expand our involvement with and usage of SAJFs within our own operations.