Singapore-based MRO provider ST Aerospace, one of the world’s largest MRO providers, announced that it finished out 2011 on a high note, securing $350 million in new contracts for the fourth quarter alone. The firm’s aircraft maintenance and modification group reported deals involving base and heavy maintenance, interior refurbishments and conversions of passenger aircraft to cargo-hauling configuration. By the end of the quarter, ST Aerospace (Booth G01) redelivered 101 aircraft for airframe-related maintenance and modification work, including converting five Boeing 757-200 freighters for FedEx Express.
CFM International CFM56
Airlines continue to defy the notion of austerity during economic hard times, as Boeing and Airbus collect a bounty of orders during a record spending spree for narrowbody airplanes.
GE Aviation and Iberia Maintenance have signed an agreement that will provide Iberia with OEM technical support for its maintenance and repair services on CF34-8C/E engines. The agreement expands Iberia’s current overhaul capability for the CF34 engine and licenses GE’s engine maintenance technology.
American Airlines last week revealed its choice of the Airbus A319 and A321 as part of its A320 family fleet order announced in July 2011. Plans call for the A319s to come equipped with CFM56-5B engines, while IAE V-2500-A5s power the A321.
CFM International is ramping up the production of its CFM56 turbofan engines, driven by a record backlog and helped by new production methods. In 2010, the GE-Snecma joint venture signed 1,584 orders, and its current backlog now stands at a record 7,000-plus engines.
For many months Boeing expressed a preference to introduce an all-new airplane in the narrowbody jet segment to replace its 737NG family by 2019.
Nexcelle (GE Aviation, Booth No. 1833) is developing the nacelles for two new engines from GE Aviation and CFM International, a partnership between GE and Safran for business and commercial aircraft: the GE Passport 20 and the CFM International Leap-X1C.
Plans call for narrowbody production at both Airbus and Boeing to reach 42 a month by 2014, but the extent to which either company can extend its rates much beyond that level will depend on the supply chain more than the potential capacity at the airframers’ respective factories.
Embraer announced that the V2500 commercial turbofan produced by the International Aero Engines (IAE) consortium will power its twin-engine KC-390 tanker/transport now in development. IAE president and CEO Ian Aitken said the choice “substantially opens a market [in which] we have not done business before.” The V2500-E5 engine was competing against the CFM56 for the Embraer KC-390 application.
It seemed to take an order of epic magnitude, but Boeing finally appears ready to launch a re-engined version of the 737NG. Those in favor of the approach all along can thank American Airlines and, by extension, Airbus, for finally convincing Boeing to jump off the proverbial fence.