The General Electric/Pratt & Whitney Engine Alliance partnership was last month awarded certification of the GP7200 by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and is now preparing for its first flight powering the giant Airbus A380 airliner.
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.
The news that Snecma is working on the new 8,500- to 10,000-pound thrust SM-X engine to power new large business jets and regional airliners hasn’t shaken Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC). Nor has last month’s suspension by Bombardier of the 110- to 135-seat C-Series twinjet program.
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.
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.
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.
Sichuan Snecma Aero-engine Maintenance Co. (SSAMC), a joint venture between Snecma Services, Air China and Willis Lease Finance Corp., has signed an exclusive 20-year maintenance, repair and overhaul agreement to service CFM56-5B and -7B engines powering Air China’s growing fleet of 160 aircraft.
Since Snecma dropped the idea of taking a share in General Electric’s GEnx turbofan program the two long-time partners now find themselves competing in the regional jet engine arena.