PurePower PW1100G-JM Last Bolt Ceremony: Greg Gernhardt

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., Friday, October 26, 2012

Greg Gernhardt, vice president, Pratt & Whitney 30K Engine Programs, spoke at the PurePower PW1100G-JM Last Bolt Ceremony.

Full text remarks:

Welcome everybody to the last bolt ceremony for the PW1100G-JM. Welcome to sunny Florida, or almost. So, where's Jim Dunn? Ah, there he is. So, just for the record, we had a big debate about doing this ceremony outside or inside and I told Jim Dunn, being four days to the end of the hurricane season, clearly there would not be a hurricane. Sandy is the proof, so, Jim, you officially won the bet. Thank you for convincing us to do this inside.

We have some special guests with us here today. We have JAEC; Kuwabara -san, thank you for coming. We have MTU; Tony, thank you for coming. We also have our newest partner, ITP, with us here as well - Danny, in the back. Thank you very much for coming. We are also honored to have Airbus with us here today. Klaus Roewe, thank you to you and your entire team. Thank you for coming and thank you for your critical support of the PurePower Engine Program.

I think there's about 100-150 folks here today, but we probably have over a thousand people watching this live from around the world. We have 600 employees at our East Hartford facility in the hangar. We have folks in our Middletown facility watching, we have folks in our North Berwick facility, our Washington, D.C., facility, and MTU and JAEC also are linked in live, so we're broadcasting in Munich and Tokyo. We have GKN as well, and we have all sites at Airbus actually linked in live. There's probably countless people watching - so technically, I probably should have said good morning, good afternoon, and good evening to wherever you are, especially the folks in Tokyo, thank you for staying up so late.

Clearly it goes without saying that this is a very proud day for Pratt and it's a huge milestone for not only Pratt & Whitney and its partners, but for the PurePower Engine Program overall and for the Airbus A320neo Program. The engine that you see here today has a couple of firsts. It is the first engine to go to test for the Airbus A320neo program and that is something everybody at Pratt & Whitney and the partners are immensely proud of - and, Klaus, thank you for your vote of confidence on having us be the … the launch engine. We will not let you down. It is also the first PurePower engine built here in our West Palm facility. I know the team here has done a lot of work and thank you very much for making this a success for today. It is truly recognized. And this is also the first engine for our biggest commercial program now and for the foreseeable future, and that is obviously the neo program so, again, thank you Klaus.

You see, the PW1100G-JM is not just a lead engine for the Airbus A320neo, it's also a building block in our relationship with Airbus. For the last 40 years, we've been powering Airbus aircraft ever since they started business over 40 years ago, and we look forward to the relationship going forward on the neo. I've been working personally with Airbus since 1996. I started on the A300 program, then went on to the V2500 program and a number of different customer support positions, and I'd have to say that we have the strongest collaboration working relationship with Airbus today. So I think we're very transparent in sharing our successes and our opportunities. Klaus, thank you for that working relationship.

So the engine you see before you now will soon go to our C-11 stand for sea level performance testing and then early next year, it'll leave West Palm and go up to Mirabel to start to flight test on our 747 flying test bed. And so, Klaus, this engine marks the beginning of Pratt and its partners meeting its commitment, not only to you, but to our mutual airline customers and the first commitment is EIS in October 2015. We are laser-focused to make sure that that happens. We're also laser-focused to make sure we deliver on our commitments in terms of double-digit reductions in fuel burn, maintenance cost, emissions and noise, and we are tracking very well to that.

None of that would have happened though without the dedication and the hard work of everybody on the program. Everybody here and, of course, everybody around the world, I give you a heartfelt thank you for all the hard work that you've done. I do realize it's a lot of long hours. It's weekends; it's traveling, being away from your family, so thank you very much for the work that you've put into this to make today such a success, and I'm very proud to work with such passionate and professional employees as yourselves.

I'm also very proud of the relationship we have with JAEC and MTU. I've been working with them for quite a few years as well. And so JAEC, I think as everybody knows, is responsible for the fan, the low compressor and the diffuser combustor, so Kuwabara-san, thank you very much. I have to say it's a very nice looking fan case. MTU is responsible for the low turbine and, in partnership with Pratt & Whitney, portions of the high compressor. Tony, thank you very much as well. As I mentioned earlier, we have GKN Aero on the line, so a special thanks to GKN and ITP. So again, Danny, thank you very much. And we also have our special friends from UTAS - United Technologies Aerospace Systems - here. Tom, welcome and thanks very much.

This is where I'm going to be a little provocative, Klaus. Many years ago, Fred Rentschler, the founder of Pratt & Whitney, once said that the best airplane can only be designed around the best engine. Of course, being an engine manufacturer, we would humbly propose to you that this is still true. But I'd like to go on to say that the best engine can only be designed by the best people and clearly we have the best and brightest people working on the PurePower engine program, so thanks for all that you do.

With that I would like to introduce our special guest speaker today, Klaus Roewe, who is the senior vice president of the Airbus A320neo program. Klaus is responsible for the design and execution. It's basically his job to make sure he delivers the aircraft on time, and we are committed to make sure that we make your job simpler, at least when it comes to the engine side, and we meet all our commitments. I've known Klaus since 2006, so when I heard Klaus was going to be running this, I was very pleased because of our strong working relationships.