Engines Power Prospects at Show

 - May 6, 2008, 4:12 AM

The biggest engine deal of Farnborough 2002 was undoubtedly FedEx’s selection of the Engine Alliance’s GP7200 engines to power its 10 A380 cargo megaliners. Though the value of the contract was not disclosed, it gives the Pratt & Whitney/General Electric joint venture parity in the A380 powerplant race with its Rolls-Royce rival.

Rolls received consolation in the shape of a $100 million order for Trent 895 turbofans to power three 777-200ERs ordered by Kenya Airways. Meanwhile, International Aero Engines (the partnership between Rolls, P&W, Japanese Aero Engines and MTU Aero Engines) got a contract to supply V2500 engines for five more A320s ordered by Hong Kong’s Dragonair.

Germany’s MTU announced that it is moving into high-pressure compressor design and manufacturing, starting with work for Pratt & Whitney for the A318’s PW6000 engines and for Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PW800 geared-fan model. MTU has now joined Pratt as a risk-sharing partner for the PW6000 and is convinced that its new compressor can fix the turbofans’ fuel-burn shortcomings.

MTU executives also announced that it is leading a “smart engine” initiative under the government-backed European technology acquisition program, along with France’s Snecma, Sweden’s Volvo Aero and FiatAvio of Italy. The program’s goals include improved active surge control and continuous failure analysis using miniaturized electronics.

Pratt & Whitney Canada announced that its PW306C engine has achieved FAA and Transport Canada certification. Flat-rated at 5,686 lb thrust at takeoff, the PW306C powers Cessna’s new Citation Sovereign, which is due to enter service in early 2004.

Having achieved FAA certification in June, Honeywell is set to begin production of the AS907 engine during September and to start making deliveries to Bombardier for its new Continental executive jet in December. European JAA certification is expected to follow in mid-2003, when the Continentals are set for service entry. By that time, the engine maker expects to have logged some 20,000 hr of tests on the AS907.

General Electric announced a new upgrade for its CF34-3A1 engines that promises operators at least a 20-percent improvement in overall material costs over the life of the turbofan, as well as boosting its residual value. The durability upgrade kit will be available starting next year, replacing the -3A1’s 30 high-pressure compressor blades with 26 recontoured blades made of DA718 material. Improved sealing and clearance control plus a new high-pressure turbine stage 2 nozzle increase the durability of both high- and low-pressure turbines. In its upgraded CF34-3B1 configuration, the engine should burn 3 percent less fuel, cut maintenance bills by 10 percent and increase hot-day takeoff and climb thrust.

Turbomeca announced that its Arrius 2B2 helicopter engine has completed type certification with French authorities. This cleared the way for initial deliveries of the Arrius 2B2-powered Eurocopter EC 135 last month.