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.
Air Transport and Cargo » Air Transport and Cargo Engines
News and issues relating to air transport and cargo engines.
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.
AvCraft CEO Ben Bartel in late January announced the restart of Dornier 328JET production at the company’s plant in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany, just outside Munich. Headquartered at Leesburg, Va., AvCraft one year ago acquired production rights for the 328/328JET and its corporate version, the Envoy 3, as well as for the stretched 428JET that might be developed later.
Harbin-Embraer–the manufacturing joint venture established in January last year by Brazil’s Embraer and AVIC II subsidiaries Harbin Aircraft and Hafei Aviation–secured a launch order for Chinese- built ERJ-145s from China Southern Airlines last month, ending a tedious wait for evidence of the program’s commercial viability.
A cooling deficiency in Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PW306B turbofan has forced the company to correct and recertify the design after turbine blades showed premature wear on several Fairchild Dornier 328JETs. A company spokeswoman told AIN that PW&C would perform the “upgrade” as operators turn in their airplanes for regular maintenance.
Embraer on February 20 obtained FAA certification and JAA recommendation for its 70- to 78-passenger Model 170 regional twinjet, some 18 months later than originally planned. The delay has been particularly irksome for Embraer 170 launch customers US Airways and Alitalia. The certification includes a Honeywell fly-by-wire system, to which Embraer earlier attributed to program delays.