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Pratt & Whitney to show fix for engine glitch affecting Airbus

Staff Writer |
Pratt & Whitney said it expects to present a fix to European regulators this week for a problem with its new geared turbofan jet engine.

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The problem halted deliveries of Airbus' latest version of its most popular aircraft model.

Pratt, a unit of United Technologies, has suffered a series of problems with the new engine, but had said in January that the problems were largely behind it.

Europe's air safety regulator on Friday issued an emergency warning about "inflight shutdown" of the engines. Pratt said the issue affects 43 engines on 32 A320neos. Pratt said it was evaluating another 55 engines delivered to Airbus that are part of the group thought to have the problem.

Airbus said last week there were currently 113 Pratt-powered A320neo aircraft flying with 18 customers. The European plane maker said it had delivered one Pratt-powered plane this year, to a Chinese customer in February.

Airbus data show it faced a dearth of Pratt & Whitney deliveries in January, when it delivered six A320neo-family aircraft, all powered by Pratt’s competitor CFM International, a joint venture of General Electric and Safran.

Pratt said the latest problems were discovered in January and early February, and stem from an engineering change the company made last summer to the "knife-edge seal" in the high-pressure compressor near the rear of the engine.

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