Cleaner, quieter, more cost-effective: the new math of sustainable flight

What does a sustainable future look like?

At this year’s  Sustainable Brands conference, leaders in business, technology and media gathered to think about the answer to that question — and they got an up-close look at one real-world example of how UTC’s willingness to dream big and take risks on innovation resulted in the development of technology that changes the aviation industry

Two decades and more than $10 billion in the making, Pratt & Whitney’s PurePower® Geared Turbofan™ (GTF) engine — dubbed “The Green Engine” — was on prominent display during the conference, giving attendees a real example of the products that will help achieve a globally sustainable future.



Many aerospace engines focus only on performance. But the PurePower Geared Turbofan also aims to provide tangible benefits for people, both in the air and on the ground. The engine reduces fuel consumption by 16 percent and delivers a 50 percent overall reduction in regulated emissions. The GTF's fuel efficiency can save airlines millions, creating opportunities for cheaper flights and different routes for places people want to go. With a 75 percent reduction in overall noise footprint, the engine opens doors to increased air travel at airports. A quieter engine also means a quieter, more enjoyable experience for people on the ground and passengers in the sky.






Such sustainability advances will only magnify in importance as air travel — especially for a growing global middle class — surges in popularity.








“Consider, for example, that the number of commercial aircraft is projected to significantly increase over the next 15 years, from about 26,000 today to approximately 46,000 by 2030,” explained Dr. Alan H. Epstein, vice president of Technology and Environment at Pratt & Whitney. “This increase in travel highlights the need to continue making air travel even more sustainable.” 


Of course, a breakthrough aerospace engine is just part of the sustainable thinking UTC brought to the conference. UTC representatives shared the company’s approach to creating forward-thinking sustainability solutions at both a massive tent showcasing the GTF engine and in the conference’s “activation hub,” where attendees took a virtual reality tour of the engine, as well as participated in a STEM education charity drive






“We believe in innovative, sustainable technology that changes the world. We know that change is possible because this engine changes everything,” explained John Mandyck, UTC’s Chief Sustainability Officer. “Our goal is to continue leading the development of sustainable technology that moves the world forward, day after day, one dream at a time.”



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