Pratt & Whitney's geared turbofan engine, which has secured hundreds of orders to power Airbus's upgraded A320 narrowbody, could be scaled up for use on larger widebody airplanes, its chief executive said on Sunday.
Pratt, a unit of United Technologies Corp
Chief Executive David Hess said he expected deals for the upgraded A320 this week. Orders for the neo you're going to see are astounding, he told Reuters in an interview a day before the official start of the Paris airshow.
Hess said both Airbus EADS
It is not just a narrowbody engine; it is an engine that we see having an application for large commercial transports of other sizes, Hess said.
Widebody use may not be a near-term opportunity for Airbus because they have got the widebody product strategy set, but maybe more for Boeing as they start to look at potential replacements for 777, Hess said.
Securing a position on a widebody plane model would potentially see a return of Pratt as a standalone supplier to the market for long-range, widebody airplanes with about 250 to 350 seats. Aerospace analysts have said the Airbus A320neo placement brought Pratt back into the narrowbody plane market in a significant way.
Pratt's key rival for A320neo engine orders is the CFM International venture between General Electric
Hess said he believed Pratt would have a better chance to win a spot on Boeing's 737 should that narrowbody plane be redesigned as opposed to re-engined. Boeing said on Sunday it may have a decision on that plane model by the end of the year.
Hess also said the geared turbofan was gaining a following among major airlines. For example, he said Delta Air Lines Inc
Pratt's geared turbofan has more than 1,200 engines on order, including options, for the Bombardier
Pratt also builds the engine used on the early production models of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter being built by defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp
(Reporting by Tim Hepher and Karen Jacobs; Editing by Diane Craft)