New Airliner Powered by a GTF Engine Named After a Sustainable Aviation Pioneer

A partnership between what claims to be “America’s greenest airline” and an aviation giant known for advancing sustainable aircraft propulsion sounds like a good idea. Frontier Airlines and Pratt & Whitney have been collaborating for a very long time, but their latest endeavor is one of the most exciting. Together, they are launching three aircraft named after important people in the history of Pratt & Whitney. The second one has just been unveiled.
Maria the Bald Eagle is named in honor of Maria Della Posta, president of P&W Canada 7 photos
Photo: Pratt & Whitney
It sports an unmistakable bald eagle livery, and its name, “Maria the Bald Eagle,” honors a woman who has been and continues to be a pioneer in more ways than one.

Maria Della Posta, president of Pratt & Whitney Canada, was not only the first female to lead a Pratt & Whitney business unit, but has also steered the company towards increased sustainability. Judging by the advancements that P&W has achieved so far in terms of making aero engines more fuel efficient, Della Posta (who joined the company back in 1985) can be seen as one of the pioneers of sustainable aviation.

This special tribute airliner is an Airbus A321neo. Before it, another similar A321neo was unveiled, in honor of Frederick B. Rentschler, the one who founded P&W. After it, the third and final one with a special name and livery will also be revealed, but details about the person it will honor are still kept under wraps.

The three aircraft are part of a much larger batch of A321neos (144 in total) both purchased and leased, that are part of the Frontier Airlines fleet. What they all have in common is P&W’s GTF engine.

Figures speak for themselves – 75% reduction in noise footprint, 50% fewer NOx emissions, and up to 20% reduction of CO2 emissions. This is what the GTF engine has been proven to do. P&W even claims that the GTF offers the best fuel efficiency and the greatest reductions in greenhouse gas emissions for the A320neo family built by Airbus.

Recently, the aerospace giant took the legendary GTF to the next level, through the successful launch of the GTF Advantage version. Capable of reducing fuel consumption (and, therefore, CO2 emissions) by just one percent extra, this new engine becomes 17% more efficient than the previous-generation ones.

It boasts better aerodynamics, clearance control, an impressive 34,000 lbs (15,422 kg) of take-off thrust, and all of this is mostly owed to its innovative geared fan. Currently waiting for certification, the GTF Advantage is set to become the most fuel-efficient engine for the A320neo family.

That’s also because P&W designed it to be fully compatible with 100% SAF (sustainable aviation fuel) and initial testing was completed using only this green fuel. Starting March 2022, P&W has switched to SAF for all of its engine testing, confirming once again its commitment to the net-zero carbon path.

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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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