As it works to maintain a commanding lead over competitor Boeing, Airbus confronts yet another significant challenge in delivering its best-selling aircraft. With a backlog that now extends into the early 2030s, Airbus has been attempting to quickly increase production of its popular A320 family of airplanes. Many of those aircraft are propelled by a certain model of Pratt & Whitney engine, which the engine manufacturer warned earlier this week will need to be recalled and inspected.
Following the discovery of a metal defect that could result in cracking, Pratt said that 1,200 of its geared-turbofan engines would need to be inspected. The problem, according to Pratt and Airbus, has no effect on the safety of the aircraft.
Airbus‘ aspirations to produce the plane at faster rates could be further slowed by the recall. As a result of the impacted engines being taken out of service, Pratt will need to keep some of its additional new engines as a reserve engine pool. For use when maintaining aircraft engines, it retains its reserves. As a result, Airbus can deliver new aircraft with fewer engines needed.
And also according to RTX, the P&W discovered an uncommon problem in the metal powder used to make a few engine parts that could shorten their lifespan. With 200 engines to be “removed and inspected” in mid-September and the remaining 1,000 in the next nine to twelve months, the PW1100 engines will be recalled in stages.
The majority of A320 aircraft with P&W engines are purchased by low-cost airline IndiGo. This development comes one month after IndiGo placed a record order for 500 narrowbody aircraft from Airbus, bringing its total pipeline from the European aircraft manufacturer to 1,000.