The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) reported last month that with 5.5 million flight hours recorded on turbofan engines between 2008 and 2012, only 280 powerplant incidents were recorded, or about one every 20,000 flight hours. Of those 280 occurrences, 98 percent could be classified as low risk; four were classified as medium risk, two as high risk and one as a very high risk. None, however, resulted in any injuries to passengers or crew.
GE Aviation is preparing to begin flight tests of its new Leap-1C and Passport engines featuring nacelles developed for them by the group’s Nexcelle joint venture with Safran subsidiary Aircelle. Last month, Nexcelle delivered the first full new-generation nacelles for both programs. They are due to fly soon on the engine maker’s Boeing 787 testbed. The Leap-1C is to power Comac’s C919 narrowbody airliner, while the Passport has been selected for Bombardier’s Global 7000 and 8000 business jets.
New engines planned by Rolls-Royce (R-R) reflect recent powerplant trends, including steadily increasing propulsive efficiency obtained with larger-diameter fans, higher bypass ratios and smaller engine cores. The engines could power updated contemporary widebody platforms, with R-R civil large engines president Eric Schulz confirming “very live” discussions with Airbus. “If it decides to re-engine the A330 or A380, we will be here to provide support,” he said during a pre-show briefing.
While calling extending its geared turbofan engine family’s thrust rating by another 2,000 pounds “a big deal,” Pratt & Whitney next-generation product family vice president Bob Saia sees still bigger things in the company’s future, including what he called an Advanced GTF that could rival an open-rotor design in fuel efficiency by the middle of the next decade. For now, though, Saia finds himself “busy as a bee” with the five core programs already under way at the U.S. company.
Japan’s Technical Research and Development Institute (TRDI) has released images and footage of the ATD-X (advanced technology demonstrator-experimental), following the appearance of a privately taken blurred image a few weeks ago.
Made public this weekend, the new images were taken on May 14 and show the aircraft being moved out of the paint shop, resplendent in TRDI’s house colors and bearing the serial 51-0001. In April, Japan’s defense minister, Itsunori Onodera, told journalists that the ATD-X is scheduled to fly this year.
The technology stakes are high for the GE9X engine that will power Boeing’s new 777X twinjet, but GE Aviation believes its big bet on the weight savings to be delivered by unprecedented use of composites is about to pay off. The U.S. engine maker, which currently holds orders for some 600 of the engines, is leaving nothing to chance and, with more than two years of technology maturation behind it, the company is now stepping up its test program en route to certification in 2018.
The past few years have not been easy for Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation, the company’s product marketing director Noriyoshi Saito indicated yesterday here at the Farnborough International Airshow. The Japanese manufacturer is nevertheless proudly displaying a cabin mockup of its long delayed Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ).
Engine manufacturer CFM International announced yesterday here at Farnborough International 2014 that American Airlines has selected its Leap-1A turbofan engine to power 100 Airbus A320neos. At list price, CFM values the engine order at $2.6 billion. The aircraft order was originally announced in July 2011 and American will begin taking delivery of the aircraft in 2017.
Textron AirLand’s new Scorpion tactical jet is making its international debut here in the UK. The clean-sheet design attracted curious onlookers last week at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) in Fairford, UK, including among them Gen. Mark Welsh, U.S. Air Force chief of staff. This week, the jet can be seen on static display at the Farnborough International Airshow through Thursday.
As preparations continue for running a full open-rotor engine demonstrator in 2016 under Europe’s Clean Sky research effort, French engine maker Snecma (Hall 4 Stand B12) sees the program’s participants reaching a consensus as whether or not to proceed in the 2017-to-2019 time frame. Clean Sky, which also involves Airbus, Rolls-Royce and French research center Onera, has provided a relatively unexpected discussion platform, thus facilitating a general agreement.