Pratt & Whitney To Invest $1 Billion In R&D Over Five Years


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Pratt & Whitney To Invest $1 Billion In R&D Over Five Years

By Daniel Baxter

December 14, 2010 - Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) announced that it will invest more than $1 billion in research and development over the next five years to develop the next generation of high-performance aircraft engines. The investment includes a $300 million repayable contribution from the Government of Canada under the Strategic Aerospace and Defense Initiative (SADI) program.  

"This major investment will enable us to sustain our engineering centers of excellence in Ontario and Quebec and reinforce our position as a leader in the global aerospace industry," said John Saabas, President, P&WC. "We are currently recruiting more than 200 engineers to support our development programs, which will bring our engineering workforce to more than 1,500 in Canada. This investment, and the support of the Government of Canada, allows us to maintain and create high-quality jobs while positioning Pratt & Whitney Canada for long-term growth."

"The Harper Government is pleased to support the world-class work being done by Pratt & Whitney Canada," said the Honorable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry. "The project we are investing in today will create or maintain Canadian research jobs, encourage public and private partnerships, and keep Canada at the forefront of the international aerospace industry."  

P&WC is developing the most advanced propulsion technologies for improved environmental performance, including reduced fuel consumption, lower emissions and less noise. These technologies will be leveraged across P&WC's product lines for new turbofan, turboprop and turboshaft engines for business, regional and helicopter applications. 

"Pratt & Whitney Canada leads the industry in developing new technologies for the markets we serve," said Beno?t Brossoit, Senior Vice President, Global Operations. "Our latest research and development programs include cutting-edge materials such as composites and advanced alloys to improve engine weight, high-efficiency compressor technology to enhance engine performance and reduce fuel consumption, and further improvements of our unique TALON? combustion system to further reduce engine emissions. This investment will ensure we have the technologies ready to support our customers in the years ahead."

P&WC is also developing technologies to significantly reduce engine noise and undertaking programs to further eliminate materials of concern in our products and manufacturing processes. This latest R&D investment will allow for continued collaboration with leading universities across Canada. "Every year, we invest $12 million in research projects with more than 20 Canadian universities to develop new technologies and encourage the next generation of aerospace engineers," said Brossoit.


P&WC has a long-standing commitment to investing in research and development to spur innovation and power sustainable growth. With approximately $400 million in annual R&D investment, P&WC ranks #1 in Canadian R&D spending for aerospace sector. Continued R&D investments have allowed P&WC to certify more than 70 engines over the past 15 years. 

P&WC has a strong presence across the country with major facilities in Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia employing more than 6,200 people, including highly skilled engineers at its R&D facilities in Ontario and Quebec. P&WC is continuing to expand its footprint in Canada.

In October 2010, the company inaugurated one of the largest flight test operations centres for civil aircraft engines in North America as part of the new P&WC Mirabel Aerospace Centre at Montreal-Mirabel International Airport. The centre will support flight testing for the complete range of Pratt & Whitney engines, including turboprops and turbofans up to 90,000 pounds of thrust.


Phase II of the Mirabel Aerospace Centre, already underway and scheduled for completion in spring 2011, includes construction of a highly advanced facility where P&WC will assemble and test the PurePower PW1524G for the Bombardier CSeries and the PW800 engine family for the next generation of large business jets. 

On October 29, P&WC and its partners inaugurated the Global Aerospace Center for Icing and Environmental Research (GLACIER) in Thompson, Manitoba. The most advanced facility of its kind, GLACIER will specialize in ice tests for aerospace engine certification programs.

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