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.
Air Transport and Cargo » Air Transport and Cargo Engines
News and issues relating to air transport and cargo engines.
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.
CFM International, the engine manufacturing joint venture between General Electric and Snecma of France, is forging ahead with a range of advanced engine studies as part of its leading edge aviation propulsion (LEAP56) program.
Russia’s largest automotive manufacturer, AutoVAZ, known in Western Europe for its Lada and Niva cars, is working on a new series of rotary-piston engines for aviation applications. Here at Le Bourget, the Russia’s Rosoboronexport defense export agency, which took control of the AutoVAZ two years ago, promotes the company’s products. Its main priority is the 270-hp VAZ-4265 engine that powers Kazan Helicopter’s three-seat Aktai 3.
The Franco-Russian Powerjet SaM146 turbofan engine, which is to power the Sukhoi Superjet 100 regional airliner, is set to fly by the end of this month. The first example of the 14,000- to 17,500-pound-thrust family made its first ground run in July 2006 at Rybinsk in Russia.
The key to Bombardier’s still-pending decision on whether to go ahead with a $2 billion-plus investment in its projected C Series 110/130-seat regional airliner family appears to rest with the engine manufacturers.