Pratt & Whitney and Alcoa announced Monday at the Farnborough Airshow that Alcoa will forge the first-ever aluminum alloy fan blade in a jet engine.
Typically, fan blades have been made from titanium. General Electric is developing ceramic composite blades for its competitor to the PurePower engine, the LEAP-1.
"Combining Alcoa's proprietary alloys and unique manufacturing processes with Pratt & Whitney's design, we cracked the code on forging an aluminum fan blade that is lighter and enables better fuel efficiency," said Alcoa Chairman and CEO Klaus Kleinfeld.
Alcoa said the 10-year contract with Pratt is worth $1.1 billion.