Dassault Aviation CEO Charles Edelstenne on Friday made it clear that all design choices for its next Falcon business jet, a super-midsize aircraft codenamed SMS, have been reopened–including the engine. Rolls-Royce had been selected two years ago to supply 10,000-pound-thrust-class RB282s for the new Falcon. It now appears that even such a key decision is being questioned.
Gulf Air has selected the Rolls-Royce Trent 700EP turbofan to power 20 previously ordered Airbus A330 aircraft, along with a TotalCare long-term service agreement. With the spares, the order totals 44 engines for $1.5 billion. Deliveries are scheduled to start in 2012.
CFM International (Hall 2 Stand B149) is studying a next generation of turbofans to power single-aisle commercial aircraft, hoping to secure a role in future replacements for the Airbus A320 family and the Boeing 737. Under the LEAP-X advanced turbofan program, joint venture partners Snecma and General Electric are pursuing innovations such as increased use of composite materials in engines.
In both engineering and visual terms, the open rotor is a huge departure from the turbofans that power today’s aircraft. As such, Rolls-Royce believes its market acceptance will involve a comprehensive understanding of the operational environment in which it will function.
Boeing took a crucial step toward first flight of the 787 on May 21, when it executed the first all-electric start of a twin-aisle commercial jetliner and completed the Dreamliner’s first engine runs. During some 40 minutes of testing, the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 turbofans operated at various power settings to ensure all systems perform as expected.
Pratt & Whitney this spring held a media event at its Hartford, Connecticut headquarters and provided an overview of its milestones and advances in environmental cleanliness and so on. Some samples:
Boeing Business Jets and Airbus Corporate Jetliners could benefit from new engine technology planned to enter service on the next-generation 737 and A320 airliners from which they are respectively derived. CFM International is working on an advanced turbofan, targeting a 16-percent cut in fuel burn that could bring greater efficiency to these and other new bizliners.
Engine maker CFM has chosen sides in the debate between proponents and opponents to composite materials on turbofan moving parts by introducing fibers woven in three dimensions for fan and even low-pressure turbine (LPT) blades. The bet on this next-generation composite manifests itself on the Snecma-General Electric venture's Leap-X “advanced turbofan” program.
India became the first export customer for the Boeing P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft. Unusually, Boeing clinched the sale of eight aircraft on commercial rather than FMS terms, and persuaded India to commit even before the P-8’s first flight.
Duluth, Minn.-based Cirrus Design announced late last month that president and COO Brent Wouters will take over the CEO role from company cofounder Alan Klapmeier on February 1. Klapmeier will continue to serve as Cirrus’s chairman of the board but will be less active in day-to-day operations at the company.