AirAsia has taken a 19-percent stake in GE Engine Services’ engine-overhaul business in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and become the first customer for the engine company’s new OnPoint service package. Under a 23-year agreement signed here yesterday, GE will provide maintenance, repair and overhaul for 129 CFM56-5B engines that will power the airline’s Airbus A320-200 fleet.
CFM International CFM56
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia-based National Air Services (NAS) has ordered five Airbus A318 Elites, a 15-seat, luxury version of the 100-seat-class airliner. In an announcement made during the first Middle East Business Aviation Conference here in Dubai yesterday, the operator also optioned five more of the twinjets.
Boeing’s ability to use the same engine for the 737-900ER as it uses on the standard -900 undoubtedly helped the company justify its investment in the project, but that doesn’t mean the newest 737 won’t benefit from new powerplant technology.
Never before has commercial air transport come under such scrutiny for its environmental impact. While aircraft have made far more progress in terms of reducing fuel consumption and emissions per passenger carried in recent years, the relentless overall growth of air traffic has led to increasing pressure from the environmental lobby to reduce the noise and emissions produced by modern powerplants.
In an unprecedented move, Pratt & Whitney is to manufacture components for an engine it competes with, the CFM56, in order to capitalize on the lucrative spares market for the General Electric/Snecma powerplant.
CFM International is on track to offer major performance and emissions improvements to operators of the CFM56 following completion of an extensive flight test program of its Tech Insertion package. Based on developments from the Project Tech56 program, the upgrade will provide Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 operators with longer time on wing, 5 percent lower maintenance costs and up to 20 percent lower emissions of oxides of nitrogen.
The planetary gearbox on Pratt & Whitney’s Asian Aerospace stand (A909), may not look very exciting, but it could represent the future of aircraft propulsion technology.
PowerJet, the joint venture formed by Russia’s NPO Saturn and France’s Snecma to build the SaM146 turbofan for the Russian Regional Jet (RRJ), will run the first engine to test (FETT) in April this year and gain certification for the new powerplant in March 2008.
Two Indian airlines have between them chosen General Electric CF6-80E1, GEnx and GE90-115B engines worth more than $2.5 billion to power new Boeing aircraft while a third has opted for GE/Snecma CFM56-5Bs to power its new Airbus A320s.
Snecma Services is looking forward to establishing a new CFM56 engine maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) shop in India. The expected rapid growth of the Indian air transport market is calling for setting up such a facility by 2008. Currently, there is no CFM shop in the country and the French-based company maintains its customers’ engines in Europe.