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.
Air Transport and Cargo » Air Transport and Cargo Engines
News and issues relating to air transport and cargo engines.
Ahead of an initial engine run in the second quarter of this year, Rolls-Royce (Booth N23) has started to assemble the 97,000-pound thrust Trent XWB-97 powerplant that will power the heavier, 308-metric-ton (680,000-pound) max takeoff weight Airbus A350-1000 stretch variant of the new twin-aisle twinjet that has been flying since last June. The first items for the powerplant were arriving in the Rolls-Royce (RR) finished parts stores during January, according to program director Chris Young.
Rolls-Royce’s factory near Seletar Airport is up and running, producing approximately 50 Trent 900s per year, while gearing up to add other engine types to its production line, beginning with the Trent 1000.
Researchers are gradually coming to understand the physics of in-flight engine icing due to ice crystals. In response to this enhanced knowledge of the subject, civil aviation authorities, such as the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), are considering more stringent certification requirements.
Current in-flight icing detection systems (FIDS) cannot detect ice crystals. But equipment manufacturer Zodiac Aerospace (Booth E07) is developing a new FIDS, using optical techniques. It will detect any form of icing and will be able to tell which form of ice–small or large supercooled droplets, crystal and so forth–is impacting the aircraft. It will give the crew specific warnings when large-droplet icing conditions or ice crystals are encountered, François Larue, head of research and technology of Zodiac’s Aircraft Systems division, told AIN.
Rolls-Royce is “competing hard” with its Trent 900 offering to power the latest batch of 50 Airbus A380s selected by Gulf operator Emirates Airline, according to Trent fleet programs customer marketing head Peter Johnston. To date, the carrier has chosen only GP7200 engines from the General Electric/Pratt & Whitney Engine Alliance joint venture for its previously ordered 90 aircraft.
The bankruptcy of Danish airline Cimber Sterling in May 2012 has threatened to shake the foundation of the country’s engine leasing business after a Danish bankruptcy court ruled that some of the engines fitted to Cimber Sterling aircraft belonged to the airframes and the engine lessors bore no right to them, according to lawyers representing the leasing entities.
Aiming to reduce exposure to potential residual-value guarantee (RVG) claims for the A340 twin-aisle quad-jet, Airbus plans to recertify the aircraft to carry 475 passengers, while Rolls-Royce works to improve the type’s engine efficiency and maintenance costs. The European manufacturer told a stakeholders’ forum on December 4 that with increased capacity and lower maintenance charges and ownership costs, the A340-600 can compete against the Boeing 777-200ER and -300ER and replace larger 747-400s.
Ethiopian Airlines signed a 10-year “OnPoint” maintenance agreement with GE Aviation for its GE90 engines. Under the agreement, GE (Pavilion A9) will maintain GE90 engines on 16 Ethiopian Boeing 777s. OnPoint agreements are customized service agreements tailored to the operational and financial needs of airline customers, GE said. The agreements are designed to help lower customers’ cost of ownership and maximize their use of assets.
Engine manufacturers reaped the rewards of the airline order bonanza at this year’s Dubai Airshow, led by GE Aviation (Pavilion A9), which logged $26 billion in engine orders and service agreements from Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways.
Collectively, the three Gulf carriers placed orders for 450 new GE9X engines now under development for the new Boeing 777X widebody. GE also received orders for Boeing 787 GEnx engines and 777 GE90 engines.