PW2000 Reliable, Relevant After Decades of Service
She was just a student at New Jersey's Stevens Institute of Technology – absorbing lessons in science, technology and mathematics. At the same time, two hours away, advanced applications in science, technology and mathematics were being applied to a brand new engine program at Pratt & Whitney. It was work not even on her radar, but now, Mary Anne Cannon ensures the PW2000 fleet stays healthy.
"Actually I just started college 33 years ago and I see many of these engine models, including the PW2000. I love the PW2000, operators will continue to use them over the next 10, 15 – perhaps the next 20 years," said Cannon, vice president, Commercial Engine Programs.
The arrival of trans-Atlantic service on an Aer Lingus Boeing 757 to Connecticut's largest airport showcases the reliability of the PW2000 program. Introduced in 1984, the fleet has logged more than 26 million hours of service. More than 660 engines are still in use by customers for different jobs. The 2000 – named the F117 for the military - is used to transport troops and supplies on the C-17 Globemaster III. It powers cargo planes for Federal Express and is widely used by Delta. In fact, the Atlanta-based airline operates almost half of all active PW2000 engines.
"We continue to invest engineering dollars in all of our operational commercial engines ensuring that we deliver what the customers are expecting, and we improve time on wing and durability," Cannon said, sitting in front of a PW2000 at Pratt & Whitney's hangar in East Hartford, Connecticut.
"There's one engine that's approaching 95,000 hours right now. It's probably going to hit 100,000 before it's done," said Alex Ouzounov, program manager, PW2000.
The engine is significant for a few more reasons. It is the first commercial application to offer Full-Authority Digital Electronic Control, an electronic engine control system. And, the technology continues to help ferry some pretty important people.
"I think one of the coolest facts is that it powers Air Force Two. And on times, on certain occasions, the president does fly in Air Force Two when there is a short runway because it has the ability to take off and land on a short runway," Cannon said.
Perhaps most importantly is the fact that the engine stands as a symbol of longevity.
"It's got a few more stages actually than most other engines, so it's very fuel efficient because of that in the compressor," said Ouzounov.
Because if an engine made in the 80s still has relevance today, imagine what the story will be for our newest technology - 40 years from now.
"It's absolutely a long-term business," Cannon said. "You invest today and you reap the benefits in the future."