Firth Rixson Ltd (FRL) has signed a multi-year deal with Pratt & Whitney Canada to supply seamless rolled rings and other forgings for the new PW610F engine, which was selected by Eclipse Aviation Corp. to power the Eclipse 500. This aircraft establishes a new category of aircraft, the Very Light Jet (VLJ).
Commenting on the agreement, Armand F. Lauzon, Jr., CEO of Firth Rixson, said, “This LTA (long-term agreement) has industry significance for a number of reasons. Not only does the success of the Eclipse 500 create an entirely new category of aircraft, powered by an entirely new jet engine, it also represents for us a new level of supply-chain collaboration, in which members share ambitious affordability, time-to-market, and manufacturing-excellence targets. This partnering approach supports the goal of keeping the acquisition cost of an Eclipse 500 significantly lower than comparable business jets on the market today.”
He added, “The attractive economics of the Eclipse 500 may trigger an expansion of the global market for VLJs that will last for years to come.”
According to Alan Erickson, FRL group VP sales and marketing, the Eclipse 500 will be powered by two PW610F engines, each of which will contain 11 seamless rolled rings and up to six forgings from Firth Rixson. “Initial order levels for the Eclipse suggest that the PW610F has the potential to achieve high-volume production rates, making the PW610F engine a significant program for the industry and for Firth Rixson,” he said.
Firth Rixson Limited was formed in 2003 from a merger of UK-based Firth Rixson and US-based Forged Metals, Inc. It is majority owned by The Carlyle Group , a global private equity firm.