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CFM International

GE Aviation has announced that it is investing more than $200m to set up factories adjacent to its existing plants in Huntsville, Alabama to mass produce silicon carbide (SiC) materials used for the manufacture of components ceramic matrix composites (CMC) for jet engines and gas turbines.

The construction of the two plants will begin mid-2016, and production will begin in 2018. When the factories are operational they are expected to employ up to 300 people.

“Establishing new GE plants in Alabama”,  said Sanjay Correa, VP CMC Program at GE Aviation – “is a very significant step in the development of the supply chain we need to produce CMC components in large quantities.”

Each plant will produce silicon carbide ceramic fiber. It will be the first such operation in the United States. Today, the only factory with large scale worldwide SiC production is NGS Advanced Fibers Japan, which is a… Continue reading

Aerospace is a big business but it is an industry increasingly consolidated. Big business yes, but a shrinking industry for sure.

The recent July deal by UTC to sell its Sikorsky helicopter unit to Lockheed Martin for $9bn is an example of how the huge parts and pieces need to shift around to extract value. UTC says it will use the funds for share repurchases. But what about instead making an investment that could really shake up the industry?

How about merging Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce? Continue reading

15072309024918COMAC and CFM International celebrated delivery of the first LEAP-1C engine for the C919 prototype yesterday.  The second Leap-1C engine is expected to be delivered to COMAC in August.

The first C919 prototype is in final assembly in Shanghai. The fuselage has been completed and mobile systems are being installed.  But first flight had been postponed to 1H16. Deliveries are scheduled for 2018 but we anticipate slipping to closer to 2020.

Airbus’ A320neo flight test program remains a source of interest.  Tracking the program we note that the P&W powered airplane is not flying, but has resumed ground testing. Airbus tells us “it will fly in the coming weeks” and is doing ground tests now. Continue reading

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