The LEAP-X from CFM International, a /Snecma (Safran Group) joint venture and the Pratt and Whitney PW1000G Geared Turbofan will be offered on the family as the NEO – Options.

Each is a high technology engine that offers significant benefits in fuel economy, noise and environmental performance. The major difference is that Pratt & Whitney uses a gear, enabling the fan to turn at a different speed than the core, while the LEAP-X builds on technology from the successful wide-body -90 and GENx with a conventional single speed design.

How do these new compare? Based on published data from CFM and Pratt & Whitney, the following table summarizes performance characteristics.

source: CFM International, GE Aircraft Engines, Pratt & Whitney

The LEAP-X is currently on two programs, the C919 and NEO, with a 2015 scheduled entry into service. The GTF is on the Bombardier CSeries, Mitsubishi RJ, and NEO, with initial in 2013 for the CSeries. Advantage PW

Initial fuel economy is similar for both – 15% for the LEAP-X and 16% for the GTF. As the technology matures, PW promise a 30% improvement for the GTF, and while no estimate is provided for the LEAP-X, we would expect 20% as the engine matures. Advantage PW

Maintenance costs are a significant element of engine economics. The LEAP-X promises costs comparable to today’s CFM-56, or no change. The PW GTF, which eliminates low pressure turbine sections through the improved efficiency of the fan, promises a 20% reduction in maintenance costs. Advantage PW

Noise is a key factor for airports, and each of the new technology promises quieter performance. The LEAP-X projects a 15 dB reduction, making it 3 times as quiet as today’s engines. The GTF promises a 20 dB reduction, making it 4 times as quiet as today’s on the logarithmic decibel scale, where every 10 dB doubles the volume. Advantage PW

Nitrous Oxide emissions are a critical element in improving air quality, and each engine provides a 50% reduction when compared with today’s levels, and easily meets the CAEP/6 standards. Advantage: Tie

When directly comparing published information on the NEO engine alternatives, it appears Pratt & Whitney has returned to the narrow-body market that it once dominated, and then lost, with a vengeance. The GTF has the lead in virtually every category, and has potential to be a game changing engine. Of the two offerings, it appears that the GTF is the more desirable alternative.

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