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Airbus A320neo suffers setback as Pratt engine damaged in tests
[Toulouse] Airbus Group SE said an engine on one of its revamped A320neo jets was found to have suffered damage following flight trials in hot-weather conditions, raising questions about the Pratt & Whitney-manufactured turbine.
The unspecified damage was discovered in one of the test plane's two powerplants, Airbus said in an e-mailed statement, while adding that deliveries of the single-aisle model should still begin as scheduled later this year.
The first A320neo, scheduled for handover to Qatar Airways Ltd, is due to be powered by the PW1100G engine from the United Technologies Corp unit. A competing turbine is being offered by the CFM International venture of General Electric Co and France's Safran SA.
Sara Banda, a spokeswoman for Pratt & Whitney, did not immediately comment. Flight trials with the engine model had been suspended from early May through August as the company dealt with difficulties involving a seal in the area of the high-pressure compressor.
Airbus gave no further details, though said the test flights was successfully completed before the damage was found. The A320neo program has a fleet of five test planes.
It's unclear whether the incident will affect testing on Bombardier Inc's CSeries aircraft, which also uses geared turbofan engines from Pratt. Bombardier couldn't immediately be reached for comment.
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