Columbus Engine Center Opens New Engine Test Cell
The Pratt & Whitney Columbus Engine Center recently unveiled its new engine test cell, which will double the facility’s engine test capacity. Pratt & Whitney continues to make significant investments in its maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facilities around the world to better support customers and their engines through EngineWise™.
“The Columbus Engine Center is Pratt & Whitney’s engine overhaul center of excellence in North America and draws upon years of maintenance experience,” said Joe Sylvestro, vice president, Aftermarket Operations. “The addition of the test cell will ensure that the engine center is well-positioned to provide the highest quality MRO services to our customers.”
“The new 10-meter engine test cell, which is adjacent our existing test cell, will allow us to significantly increase our throughput of engines, including the Geared Turbofan™ (GTF) engines,” said Tom Bode, general manager, Columbus Engine Center. “Over the last few years, our facility has transformed significantly to prepare for the historic GTF engine ramp up and ensure we are able to meet customer demands. We’re excited about the growth of our facility and look forward to a bright future here in Columbus.”
The Columbus Engine Center, which was the first facility in the world to maintain PW1000G engines, is at the heart of GTF MRO. Over the last few years, the engine center has transformed into the GTF MRO powerhouse that it is today, leading the way for a number of GTF MRO network facilities to follow. In addition to Pratt & Whitney, GTF engines are currently being maintained by MTU, JAEC and Lufthansa Technik.
Recent investments in the Columbus facility have included new GTF engine facilities to support disassembly, inspection, assembly and test capabilities as well as a 200,000-square-foot facility to overhaul GTF engines, expected to open in mid-2018.
In addition to other machinery upgrades, the Columbus Engine Center, together with Columbus Forge, which produces compressor airfoils and nickel and titanium forgings, announced in 2017 that it expects to hire approximately 500 new employees over the next five years to meet increasing business demands. Columbus Forge is also investing in new machinery for its facility to meet capacity demands, including a new forge press that will be operational next year.
The engine test cell will be utilized for all engine models that the Columbus Engine Center services, including GTF engines. Through Pratt & Whitney’s EngineWise™ service brand, the engine center, which opened in 1996 to overhaul Pratt & Whitney JT8D engines, currently services both PW1100G-JM and PW1500G engines as well as PW2000, F117 and F100 engines.