Orders from Singapore Airlines covering up to 50 additional Rolls-Royce (R-R) Trent XWB-engined A350-900s boosted Airbus as it made final preparations late last month [May] for the new airliner’s first flight. The Asian carrier has booked 30 examples and taken options on 20 more (convertible to larger A350-1000s), boosting the total number of A350-900s it has ordered to 70.
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News and issues relating to air transport and cargo engines.
CFM International claims it is behind a revolution in the use of advanced materials for its Leap series of engines for single-aisle aircraft, that gives it a durability and maintainability edge over the competing Pratt & Whitney PurePower geared turbofan.
Boeing’s confirmation in March that GE Aviation will provide the new GE9X engine to power its proposed 777X development marked the culmination of three years of preliminary work between the engine maker and the airframer in their quest to be in a position to promise a 10 percent reduction in fuel burn compared with the GE90-115B engines on the existing 777-300ER. Also promised is a 5 percent improvement in specific fuel consumption over rival widebody engines by 2020.
Airbus’s choice of the Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan on the A320neo and Rolls-Royce’s subsequent divesture in engine joint-venture IAE might have signaled to some the beginning of the end of the V2500 turbofan.
Pratt & Whitney CEO David Hess doesn’t spend time lamenting his company’s decision to forgo a bid for a place on Boeing’s proposed 777X. In fact, during a recent interview with AIN at his company’s campus in West Palm Beach, Florida, Hess expressed not an inkling of regret, evidently taking comfort in the narrowbody market’s virtually unequivocal acceptance of his company’s geared turbofan platform. “Our plate’s pretty full right now,” said Hess.
A recent Boeing study predicted a demand for up to 23,000 single-aisle airliners over the next 20 years. For the three engine manufacturers involved in the seven single-aisle aircraft currently in development, the business case for developing all-new engines to power them has been more than justified.
GKN Aerospace’s acquisition of Volvo Aero is starting to bear fruit, giving the UK-based aerostructures group a significant boost in this growing market segment. This year, the addition of the Sweden-based engine systems manufacturer is expected to boost total revenues from GKN’s aerospace division by approximately $700 million, to $3.5 billion.
CFM International last week froze the design of the Leap engine variant destined to power Boeing’s new 737 Max narrowbody. The Snecma-GE joint venture has said it expects to achieve the first full engine test of the Leap-1B in the middle of next year, followed by initial flight-testing in 2015 and powerplant certification in 2016. Boeing expects the 737 Max to enter service in 2017.
Despite some vacillation on the part of airframe OEMs still studying the form their respective 90-seat turboprop might finally take, development of Pratt & Whitney Canada’s engine offering continues on what company vice president of marketing Richard Dussault called a critical path leading to expected launch next year.
Pratt & Whitney today announced a contract award from Hawaiian Airlines to provide its PurePower Geared Turbofan for as many as 25 Airbus A321neos.