Engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney yesterday announced it had made a commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Pratt & Whitney manufacturers the ubiquitous PT6 series of turbo-prop engines and PW series of turbofans that power several GA and executive transport aircraft such as the TBM 940, PC-12, King Air and the yet to be certified Gulfstream G400.
"With the growing urgency of addressing climate change, and the need to ensure sustainable growth in global air connectivity, the ambition to ‘fly net zero’ is an essential and defining challenge for our industry,” said Chris Calio, President of Pratt & Whitney.
“As the leading developer of state-of-the-art aircraft propulsion systems, we are continually advancing the efficiency of engines across our portfolio, including the development of hybrid-electric and hydrogen-powered technologies, while also supporting the wider use of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF).
"All these elements will be critical for the aviation industry to meet its emissions reduction goals, for the benefit of our communities, the environment, and our customers.”
With more than $10 billion invested in a new clean-sheet engine designs over 20 years, the Pratt & Whitney GTF engine family delivers up to 20% better fuel consumption, 50% lower nitrogen oxide gas emissions and a 75% smaller noise footprint compared to previous engines.
Pratt & Whitney estimates that since entering service in 2016, GTF engines have already saved airlines more than 0.5 billion gallons of fuel and more than 5 million metric tons of CO2.
The company is also developing advanced, hybrid-electric propulsion systems and is planning to integrate the technology into a Dash 8-100 flight demonstrator. The regional aircraft-scale demonstrator is targeting a 30% improvement in fuel efficiency compared to existing turbo-prop engines.
Pratt & Whitney is a founding member of the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG), which is committed to achieving the net zero emissions by 2050 goal. Other members of ATAG include GE Aviation, Rolls-Royce, Airbus and Embraer.