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News and issues relating to air transport and cargo engines.
Development of Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation’s MRJ regional jet continues on schedule, as some 800 engineers, designers and subcontractors in Nagoya, Japan, work to complete the project’s critical design review by year-end. The engineering team finished with the project’s preliminary design review in April and aims to ready the first of four MRJ90 prototypes for first flight near the end of 2011.
Etihad Airways has completed engine selections for the massive aircraft orders it revealed at last year’s Farnborough airshow, in deals now totaling $14 billion in estimated value. As indicated at the time, it has opted for General Electric GEnx-1Bs for the 35 Boeing 787-9s it ordered, having already confirmed that it would use GE90-115Bs to power the 10 Boeing 777-300ERs.
German-based engine manufacturer MTU Aero Engines is here at the Paris Air Show (Hall 2 Stand AB 151) exhibiting a cutaway mockup of a geared turbofan. This is the basic concept for its Claire (clean air engine) technology program, whose aim is to cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 30 percent by 2035. It is making its first step under the umbrella of the European Commission’s Clean Sky joint technology initiative.
Korean Air has selected Pratt & Whitney’s PW4170 Advantage70 engine to power six new Airbus A330s it has on order. The contract, valued at some $300 million, includes two spare turbofans. Korean Air in February placed a new firm order with Airbus for six more A330-200s, the first for the new 238-metric-ton increased takeoff weight version of the twin-engine widebody, offering an extended flying range of up to 7,200 nm.
GE Aviation has signed two separate 10-year OnPoint engine service agreements with Delta Air Lines and Japan Airlines subsidiary J-Air. The contract with Delta covers maintenance and overhaul of the GE90-110B1L2 engines that power the carrier’s entire Boeing 777-200LR fleet. The agreement with J-Air covers the
New engine orders slumped badly for CFM International during the first five months of this year. The French-U.S. partnership sold just 303 engines through May 31–less than a quarter of the (admittedly exceptional) total of 1,342 sold in the same period in 2008.
The downturn in demand in some of its markets has not dented the ardor of engine maker Pratt & Whitney for developing new technology. “We have to be ready for the upturn,” said the U.S. company’s new president, David Hess. “We have to keep people focused on the great future of Pratt & Whitney, positioning ourselves for a strong recovery.”
If it didn’t become immediately apparent when Boeing began alluding to time frames that implied a replacement of the 737 might not materialize until 2020, the company’s recent revelations of a new set of design enhancements certainly erased any doubts that a so-called follow-on will have to wait until designers and engineers squeeze all the efficiency and comfort available from the existing narrowbody family.
In both engineering and visual terms, the open rotor is a huge departure from the turbofans that power today’s aircraft. As such, Rolls-Royce believes its market acceptance will involve a comprehensive understanding of the operational environment in which it will function.