As CFM International and Pratt & Whitney progress toward the entry into service of their competing engines on the Airbus A320neo, the rival powerplant makers are at odds over which engine will deliver the best performance in terms of turbine temperatures.
Airbus A320neo family
Loss-making Kuwait Airways has placed its first order for new aircraft in 20 years with a conversion of a commitment covering 10 A350-900s and 15 A320neos worth some $4.5 billion at list prices. The state-owned airline expects first delivery of the new airplanes in 2019. It now operates three A320s, three A310s, five A300s and four A340s.
Crane Aerospace and Electronics has announced that its SmartStem wireless tire pressure system has been certified for use with Boeing 737NG aircraft. It is already approved for use with the Boeing 747-400, 777 and 787, and with numerous business jet types. The system comprises high-accuracy sensors that replace standard wheel fill stems, and a handheld reader that takes quick and accurate tire pressure readouts without gas loss. The ease and speed of use of the system promotes daily checks, with improved safety as a result, and an increase in tire life.
Southeast Asian carriers VietJetAir and Myanmar Airways maintained the region’s strong growth-curve yesterday, announcing new airliner deals worth almost $7.4 billion. At the Singapore Airshow, Vietnam’s VietJetAir gave Airbus a $6.4 billion contract covering firm orders for 42 A320neos, 14 A320ceos and seven A321ceos.
Engine manufacturer CFM International (Stand G23) plans to test 15 Leap engines this year as part of a development program leading to certification of the Leap-1A for the Airbus A320neo next year. Also part of the program, the Leap 1B and -1C versions are to power the upgraded Boeing 737 Max and the new Comac C919 narrowbodies, respectively. The engine’s designers promise a 15-percent fuel burn advantage over the current CFM56.
Crane Aerospace & Electronics announced the approval of its SmartStem wireless tire pressure checking system on the Boeing 737NG. Crane said that its patented technology offers a way to check tire pressure quickly, accurately and without gas loss. The system consists of sensors and a handheld reader. The sensors replace the existing standard wheel fill stems and the reader electronically reads and stores tire pressure and temperature.
In May this year the French-U.S. joint venture CFM International delivered the 25,000th example of its CFM56 turbofan, which powers Boeing Next-Generation 737s and the Airbus single-aisle family. Last month the 10,000th CFM56-7B for the 737 family was delivered, while next month deliveries of CFM56-5s for Airbus will pass 8,500. As well as these two influential single-aisle aircraft lines, the CFM56 also powers the Airbus A340-200/300.
With initial running of the new Leap-1 engine on schedule in September, CFM International (CFMI) has embarked on an “unprecedented” level of testing that should involve 20 developmental units by the end of next year and seven of the remaining eight planned examples before 2016 (when a final powerplant will take part in a short exercise–possibly a Leap-1C blade-out check).
Boeing said it has completed aerodynamics, engine and weight audits that together have given it a clearer picture of the future operating performance of the new 737 Max. The manufacturer now says the re-engined narrowbody will burn 14 percent less fuel than today’s 737-800NG, one percent better than it previously estimated.
The VivaAerobus Group has signed a purchase agreement for 52 Airbus A320 family jets, marking the biggest Airbus aircraft order by a single airline in Latin American history. The deal covers 40 A320neo and 12 current-generation A320, the first of which the airline plans to take next April. VivaAerobus, a Mexican low-cost carrier, has opted to announce the engine selection later.
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