Falcon 6X Engine Certification Nears As PW800 Family Grows

A PW812D on a stand.
Tests of the PW812GA for the Gulfstream G400 are already underway.
Credit: Pratt & Whitney

Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) is entering the final stages of certifying the PW812D for Dassault’s fast-paced Falcon 6X program and has already begun tests of the newest member of the family, the PW812GA for Gulfstream’s recently unveiled G400 large cabin business jet.

Coming on the heels of the start of flight tests on the Falcon 6X and continuing deliveries for Gulfstream’s G500 and G600 programs, the selection of the engine for the G400 “really speaks highly to the flexibility and versatility of the PW800 architecture,” said Andrew Waterston, vice president of Business Aviation sales and marketing at Pratt & Whitney Canada.

The PW812GA, like the PW812D for the Falcon 6X, is a 13,000-14,000 lb. thrust engine based on the core of the PW1200G geared turbofan (GTF) developed for the Mitsubishi MRJ airliner, and was selected late in 2017 for the Dassault application. The switch to the PW800 and the 6X development followed the cancellation of the shorter-fuselage Falcon 5X super midsize business jet in the wake of continuing delays to Safran’s Silvercrest engine.

Full-scale development of the first PW812 followed the September 2018 service debut of the larger PW814GA, the first of a family of P&WC engines derived from the core of the midsize PW1500G Airbus A220 powerplant, on the Gulfstream G500. The second engine, the PW815GA, entered service in 2019 on the longer-range G600. All the versions of the PW800 share identical cores with their air transport derivatives, but do not feature the fan drive gear system.

Since their first deliveries in 2018 and 2019 respectively, more than 260 PW814/815GA engines have entered service on the G500 and G600. The combined fleet of 130 aircraft has amassed more than 7,500 hr. of flight time with a dispatch reliability of 99.99%.

“There are some subtle differences on the two PW812 engines in order to be optimized for the demands of each aircraft, whether they be the Falcon or Gulfstream, but they share common elements with the core,” said Waterston. “The power demand requirements are slightly different, and so therefore we have to make the modifications that you need on the externals in order to cater for those,” he added, referring mostly to accessories such as integrated drive generators and engine-bleed offtakes.

As Gulfstream has been long-planning the development of the G400 as an entry-level large-cabin jet, Pratt has similarly been working quietly on the PW812GA derivative for some time. Ground testing has already begun, and flight tests will commence using the company’s Boeing 747SP flying testbed. No details of the planned test and development schedule are being released, although flight tests in Canada are widely expected to take place in the 2022-2023 timeframe to support Gulfstream’s plan to begin initial G400 deliveries in 2025.

All testing on the PW812D, which flew in its Dassault configuration on the 747SP in 2019, is now complete. 

“We've been very successful in meeting our milestones in lockstep with the Dassault aircraft program, and we are right now in the final stages of the certification process,” said Waterston. "All of our current certification testing is now complete and we are in the final review stage with Transport Canada." 

Guy Norris

Guy is a Senior Editor for Aviation Week, covering technology and propulsion. He is based in Colorado Springs.