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CFM International

The next generation engines are rapidly approaching competitive flight operations – what’s the engine score?  The Pratt & Whitney GTF is already flying for Lufthansa and IndiGo on their A320neos.   The CFM LEAP is rapidly building hours on the Airbus neo fleet and will soon also be operating in customer fleets – the first two operational engines were delivered to Airbus two days ahead of schedule.  The Boeing MAX flight test program is rumored to be running ahead of schedule and should be in service no later than early next year.

These two engine programs may be the largest seen to date in the industry.  Production ramp up is going to be tough for both engine OEMs.  Take a look at the current score. Continue reading

The two big engine makers in the single aisle market now are more easily compared as more data emerges.  Both firms have to file documents with the US FAA.  This information provides an insight we have not seen to date.  The CFM LEAP data can be seen here (E00089EN_Rev_1) and the P&W GTF data can be seen here (E00087EN_Rev2).  For data on the CFM56 look here (E37NE_Rev_13) and the on the V2550 look here (E40NE_Rev_10). The documents make interesting reading.

The table summarizes some key numbers. Continue reading

As Pratt & Whitney’s new engine starts to operate it is interesting to review its long gestation.   The start of the GTF goes far back to an engine few recall, named the “SuperFan”.  This engine was sold to Airbus for the first A340.  It is rare to find an image of the original SuperFan engine.  One of the original program’s members shared this drawing with us.

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Early and critical work done by Howard Stryker and the IAE team on the SuperFan in the mid-80’s should not be forgotten.

In the early 1980s Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce entered into a joint venture, named International Aero Engines (IAE).  The goal of this JV was to develop an all new, mid-size, turbofan aero-engine.  The JV included Pratt & Whitney, Rolls-Royce, a consortium of Japanese companies, Fiat of Italy and MTU of Germany.  The… Continue reading

The aero-engine business is tough and getting tougher.  The ever more exotic materials and manufacturing processes mean that only those with the deepest pockets can sustain.  Safran has been struggling with its Silvercrest engine.  The delay in the engine is pushing the Dassault 5X EIS to 2020.

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The problems seem to have a significant impact, as the Silvercrest does not have the power to work on regional jets.  Another engine  maker that has been working through challenges is Rolls-Royce.  Bloomberg has a good story on these two firms.  It is interesting that Safran’s CEO made the first public statement about collaborating with Rolls-Royce on engines for regional jets.

Safran collaborates with Rolls-Royce on the Trent 500, 700, 800, Trent XWB and BR700, 710, 715, 725 and TP400 (A400M).  Safran collaborates with GE on the CFM56 and LEAP.  It also collaborates with… Continue reading

Yesterday Airbus’ A321neo with the GTF took to the skies.  This is the most complex flight test program underway at present.  Each of the neo aircraft has to test both engine types.   The table below provides an idea of where the program was as of yesterday. Continue reading

The first A321neo, equipped with CFM International LEAP-1A engines, completed its maiden flight on today in Hamburg, Germany. The aircraft, registered D-AVXB, was flown by Test Pilots Martin Scheuermann and Bernardo Saez Benito Hernandez. Accompanying them in the cockpit was Test-Flight Engineer Gérard Leskerpit and monitoring the flight’s progress were Flight-Test Engineers Sandra Bour Schaeffer and Emiliano Requena Esteban.

csm_A321neo_CFM_engine_First_Flight_take_off_fe86dee22dThe flight lasted five hours and 29 minutes during which tests were performed on the engine speed variation (low/high), systems behavior and to validate the aircraft’s flight envelope. The A321neo will join the NEO flight test fleet and perform a partial flight test program to validate the impact on handling qualities, performance and systems. The first A321neo will be delivered at the end of 2016.