A 16-percent operating cost improvement sounds like a formidable hurdle for any aircraft program, but even more so for one at its outset seen as a low-risk grab at a piece of a target market Boeing itself had dismissed as modest at best. But the 747-8 benefits from one thing that most other programs in the past haven’t–a new engine on which a much more expensive proposition rests in the 787 Dreamliner.
Air Transport and Cargo » Air Transport and Cargo Engines
News and issues relating to air transport and cargo engines.
Texas-based ComTran on June 1 received EASA certification for its noise-cutting “advanced jet nozzle” on MD-80 airliners. When so equipped, MD-80s will meet EASA Chapter 4 noise requirements. According to ComTran, the additional equipment brings neither weight penalty nor fuel burn increase. The company also claims it does not change engine operation. It is said to even cut maintenance costs.
Barely a month has passed since what formerly traded as Smiths Aerospace formally became General Electric Aviation Systems at the closing of the U.S. engine maker’s $4.8 billion acquisition of the business. But according to the new division’s president, Dr.
Technofan is demonstrating its new cooling fans here at the Paris Air Show (Hall 2B Stand D13). The Safran group subsidiary’s design engineers are working to further improve ventilation systems for passenger cabins, avionics bays and wheel brakes. On the new A380 airliner, for instance, a series of innovations is already making cooling fans smarter.
Honeywell Aerospace has spent the past couple of years restructuring its activities along customer lines. One indication that this approach may be working is the U.S. group’s latest double-win on the Boeing CH-47 Chinook program.
Confidence in Pratt & Whitney’s geared turbofan (GTF) program is such that company president Steve Finger is talking about a potential widebody application for the engine. “We’re looking at that for late next decade,” he told Aviation International News.
Having passed responsibility for an engine for the planned Bombardier C Series 110- to 149-seat jetliner to its U.S. parent, Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) says time devoted to the exercise has not been wasted. Rather, it is contributing to work on a 10,000- to 14,000-pound-thrust design–dubbed X10–aimed at a future generation of large business and corporate jets.
In recent years, engine manufacturers have shifted their emphasis from straightforward production of engines to the far more lucrative business of after-sales support.
Rolls-Royce is no exception. In the last decade, its TotalCare engines business has expanded by a healthy 10 percent a year, creating a business that by the end of 2006 was worth $3.9 billion–more than half the company’s total civil engines business.
Boeing hasn’t yet worked out how to change between alternative 787 engines in the space of 24 hours. Designing an engine mount that enables engineering crews to swap alternative General Electric GEnx and Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 powerplants in such a short time has proved “challenging,” the U.S. manufacturer concedes.
In January, Pratt & Whitney achieved a major milestone in its campaign to become a certified supplier of spares for CFM International’s CFM56-3 turbofans when it ran the first engine test containing parts it had re-engineered and manufactured. The event marked one of the final steps toward certification and delivery of the first P&W-manufactured CFM56-3 parts to the ground-breaking service’s launch customer, United Airlines.