2018 is shaping up to be a watershed year for Pratt & Whitney’s revolutionary Geared Turbofan. Pratt spent $10 billion and 20 years refining the technology, and 2018 was the year in which that investment began paying off in the form of broad acceptance among airlines around the world. Over 30 carriers have now made orders or commitments for 10,000 of the engines. The engine has proven it can deliver the promised fuel efficiency and emissions reductions while also achieving high levels of reliability. For instance, the dispatch reliability rate on the Airbus A320neo is 99.9%. Over the long run, it is hard to see how General Electric Aviation will be able to keep up with Pratt unless it offers its own geared architecture. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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