Mixed results for Safran’s subsidiaries last year and an internal investigation into accounting irregularities last December that resulted in top executive changes have again raised the question of the wisdom of the controversial merger of leading French aerospace and engine and equipment manufacturing group Snecma and telephone and defense communications group Sagem.
The Franco-Russian Powerjet SaM146 turbofan engine, which is to power the Sukhoi Superjet 100 regional airliner, is set to fly by the end of this month. The first example of the 14,000- to 17,500-pound-thrust family made its first ground run in July 2006 at Rybinsk in Russia.
French engine manufacturer Snecma is making progress with plans to develop a turbofan in the 10,000-pound-thrust class. The manufacturer revealed plans last October to enter the business jet engine market. Design of the Silvercrest powerplant is now well under way, and the core is scheduled to run later this year.
French engine manufacturer Snecma has revealed plans to develop a turbofan engine to power business and regional jets. It has started developing a core engine demonstrator called the SM-X that, if a full development program is launched, would yield a powerplant producing between 8,500 and 10,000 pounds of thrust. Ground testing of the core is set for the second half of next year.
Engine manufacturers are showing renewed interest in the 10,000-pound-thrust segment. They see the aging of the General Electric (GE) CF34-3B, the only engine in production in the class, and at least two companies–Snecma and Pratt & Whitney Canada–are eyeing future large business jets, the size of the Bombardier Challenger 600 series, as potential applications. Meanwhile, GE is modernizing the CF34-1 for the Challenger 601.
During the Cold War, the Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls (CoCom) produced the yearly list of items that U.S., European, and Japanese firms were enjoined not to sell to the Soviet Union or any of its client states. The system worked reasonably well, and Soviet military designers were forced to develop their own sophisticated guidance systems, precision machine tools and other advanced technology.
Airlines around the world in the market for equipment to serve the emerging 100-seat sector have no fewer than five choices to evaluate here at the Paris Air Show this week. Bombardier with its new C Series and Embraer with the 190/195 family enjoy a high profile, but alternative programs conceived farther east won’t easily let the Western airframers steal the show.
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.
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.
French engine maker Snecma is here at Asian Aerospace 2006 courting prospective partners and applications for its proposed new SM-X engine. The 8,500- to 10,500-pound thrust turbofan is being offered both for new large business jets and regional jetliners in the 40- to 60-seat class.