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By Lewis Krauskopf
Dec 19 (Reuters) - Pratt & Whitney said on Friday its engine for Airbus’ A320neo family of narrowbody airplanes has won certification from the Federal Aviation Administration.
The certification marks a key milestone for the engine and the A320neo, which is scheduled to enter into service in the 2015 fourth quarter. Pratt’s engine powered the A320neo when it took its maiden test flight in September. Pratt is a unit of United Technologies Corp.
The Airbus jet is viewed as the most critical commercial platform for Pratt’s new geared turbofan engine that is designed to be more fuel efficient than older models.
Airbus has tallied more than 3,300 orders for the A320neo family of jets as of November, according to the company’s website.
Pratt said with enhancements, its engine is expected to help deliver 20 percent fuel-burn savings per seat for the A320neo by 2020.
The A320neo engine family also offers airline customers an engine from CFM, a joint venture between General Electric and Safran, creating a heated competition between the engine makers.
Pratt’s GTF, which is revitalizing the engine-maker’s commercial engine business, is now certified on two aircraft programs, including Bombardier’s CSeries jet.
The certification also marks a victory for Pratt after the version of the engine used in the Bombardier plane suffered a failure during ground testing in May. Test flights for the CSeries were suspended, but they resumed in September. (Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf; Editing by Richard Chang)