CFM International remains on track with development process of the Leap series of engines that it laid out four years ago. The 50/50 partnership between General Electric and Safran subsidiary Snecma announced it has recently frozen the designs for its new Leap 1A and 1C engines destined for use on the Airbus A320neo and the Chinese Comac C919 narrowbody airliners, which are scheduled to enter service in 2016.
The Kuznetsov design bureau, part of the United Engine Corporation (ODK), unveiled a new geared turbofan design at the Engines 2000 exhibition in Moscow last month. The PD30 is proposed for an upgrade to the Antonov An-124 Ruslan heavy airlifter, which is currently powered by the Ukrainian Ivchenko Progress D18T. The PD30 could also power Russia’s proposed widebody airliner, known as Airplane 2020.
The announcement of the new joint venture between Rolls-Royce and Pratt & Whitney on mid-sized engines was hardly a statement of marriage, but the vows made by the two aero-engine giants on 12 October nevertheless secure their long-term future in the huge market for mid-sized aero-engines up to 2030.
The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) has commissioned a wind tunnel to help aircraft manufacturers measure the noise levels generated by aircraft landing gear. Industry historically has focused on measuring and reducing the noise generated only by engines.
Almost three full decades ago a battle was raging over the powerplant options for what was then the all-new Airbus A320. The competitors–CFM International and International Aero Engines (IAE)–were making claim and counter-claim as to the potential advantages their respective engines would bring to the aircraft, which had been developed to grab a slice of the huge single-aisle market until then dominated by the ubiquitous Boeing 737.
Business jet engine programs this year seem to be moving slowly, with little progress to report. Some–like the Snecma Silvercrest–have not been officially launched yet and are still looking for an application. Most news comes from derivative engine programs at Honeywell, Pratt & Whitney Canada and Williams International.
The design of new airframes always depends heavily on availability of new engine types. The very light jet segment, for example, had to wait until engine manufacturers Pratt & Whitney Canada and Williams International designed smaller engines to power a new class of light jet, and the same is true on the upper end of the market, with new large jets spurring development of ever more powerful and efficient turbofans.
Price Induction, a French startup company based in Anglet in the southwest of the country, is here exhibiting two engine mockups (Hall 3 Stand A25). The first is its new 570-pound-thrust DGEN 380 turbofan engine and the other is its Taor contrafan concept. Company executives claim to have raised enough funds to complete the DGEN certification program.
Researchers across Europe have made substantial progress in their pursuit of the cleaner, more fuel efficient engines that will be needed if air traffic is to continue growing without its environmental impact becoming unacceptable.
The in-development geared turbofan (GTF) has been attracting most of the headlines at engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney lately, and it does indeed promise to make a large leap in powerplant efficiency and environmental friendliness when it enters airline service in 2013.