Rolls-Royce (R-R) is developing continuous improvements for mature Trent engines, with new technology flowing from later models into established variants, according to program director John Hogarth. Since the original Trent–the Series700–entered service on a Cathay Pacific Airbus A330 in 1985, successive variants have been introduced to constitute a “tailored family” enjoying common architecture, but with each model dedicated to specific airframes.
Pratt & Whitney president Dave Hess, celebrating an “incredible 12 months” of commercial engine activity, has responded to CFM International’s claims that its Leap engine for the Airbus A320neo and Boeing 737 Max have materials technology leadership over the Pratt & Whitney PurePower geared turbofan.
Lufthansa has firmed up on its order for 100 Airbus A320s and International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) has added a further 50 A320neos to its previous order for 100 aircraft.
The German carrier will take a mixed fleet of 35 A320neos (new engine order), 35 A321neos and 30 A320ceos (conventional engine order), with Sharklet wingtips. It says the aircraft will meet future growth and fleet renewal needs and will “contribute significantly to reducing noise and emissions.”
With defense budget cuts starting to bite, GKN Aerospace (Chalets (B) 73, Hall 2b Stand F140) is stepping up its efforts to reduce dependence on military business. At a recent press briefing, the UK-based group’s CEO Marcus Bryson predicted that in 2013 almost 70 percent of revenues are likely to come from civil orders, with Airbus remaining its largest customer (accounting for 32 percent of revenues in 2012).
Dassault Aviation comes to this year’s Paris Air Show with two newly certified business jets: the large-cabin Falcon 2000S and Falcon 2000LXS. Both received EASA and FAA approvals in March. The first Falcon 2000S was delivered in April to a Turkish customer. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in the second half for the 2000LXS, when it replaces the 2000LX.
Despite some vacillation by ATR and Bombardier, who are still studying the form their respective 90-seat regional airliners might take, development of Pratt & Whitney Canada’s new turboprop engine continues on a “critical path” to an expected launch next year, according to Richard Dussault, company vice president of marketing.
A switch from composite to titanium inner wall of the thrust reversers on the Boeing 737 Max has allowed designers to increase the fan diameter in the airplane’s CFM Leap-1B turbofans without a proportional increase in the size of the nacelle.
CFM International claims it is behind a revolution in the use of advanced materials for its Leap series of engines for single-aisle aircraft, that gives it a durability and maintainability edge over the competing Pratt & Whitney PurePower geared turbofan.
Boeing’s confirmation in March that GE Aviation will provide the new GE9X engine to power its proposed 777X development marked the culmination of three years of preliminary work between the engine maker and the airframer in their quest to be in a position to promise a 10 percent reduction in fuel burn compared with the GE90-115B engines on the existing 777-300ER. Also promised is a 5 percent improvement in specific fuel consumption over rival widebody engines by 2020.
Airbus began the 2,500-hour flight-test program for its new A350XWB when the new long-range widebody took off for the first time at almost exactly 10:00 a.m. local time in Toulouse, France, on Friday. The eagerly awaited first flight over southwestern France lasted slightly more than four hours and the twinjet, powered by Rolls-Royce’s Trent XWB engines, safely touched down back in Toulouse at 2:05 p.m.