The previous post on the neo engine competition got us thinkign about another tough battle. On the 787 the battle is between the GEnx and the Trent 1000. Here we have a chart on the 870 airplanes based on Boeing’s data.

As you can see the battle is not nearly as close as on the neo.  GE is nearly double Rolls-Royce’s market share.  Wisely many orders don’t have an engine selected. The program has met with numerous delays and this allows airlines and lessors to wait and see. We expect that by the time many 787 customers have to select an engine both engine makers will have their first or perhaps even second PIPs in place.

Both engines on offer for the 787 represent the current state of art. They are already very quiet and much more fuel efficient than the previous generation.  GE, with its tremendous materials experience and the deep industrial IP can be expected to ensure its GEnx remains highly attractive. The financial power of GECAS ensures no engine competition GE faces needs to purely depend on technology.  This makes the GE option extremely compelling. The numbers tell a story.

Rolls-Royce does not have the benefit of something like GECAS. So it has to remain on the bleeding edge of technology advancements. Rolls-Royce has built a tremendous momentum in its Trent line.  The engines do sterling work on the A380 (yes we remember), on the 787 and will do so on the A350 too.  By having the A350 work has the opportunity to keep refining its Trent design. That means lessons and technology acquired in making the Trent XWB engine, Rolls-Royce will be able to bring back ideas and IP into the A380 and 787 engines to keep them optimized. (Same for GE and CFM on the GE90, GEnx and LEAP) This is how Rolls-Royce stays current and in the hunt for the nearly 600 engines yet to be ordered on the 787 program. They have one more advantage, theirs was the launch engine and has a head start in generating data to help Rolls-Royce ensure the engine delivers what they promised.

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