From: firstname.lastname@example.org (James Matthew Weber) Date: Fri, 09 Jul 1999 19:25:43 GMT Organization: Shore.Net/Eco Software, Inc; (email@example.com) Followups: 1 2
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It has been announced that the engine contract for the 777-200/-300X has gone to General Electric. I suspect there are several reasons this has happened: 1). By most accounts, the GE90 core is probably good for about 120,000 pounds thrust. The GE90 can get to the required 110-115,000 pound thrust needed for these aircraft much more easily than the Trent, and it was clear that a PW4000 design was a stretch to get to the PW4098.Any larger engine was going to be a major exercise, and if Boeing wanted an early in service date, a problem as well. My guess is Boeing is about to come after the A340-500/600 with a vengeance, and a competitive in service date was a requirement. GE can probably get there sooner and probably at lower cost than either RR or PW. It is equally clear that there will probably be a need for larger engines, and even at 110,000 to 115,000 pounds there is still some growth left in the GE90. It is doubtful that there would be anything left in a 110,000 pound Trent 800. 2). Fuel economy. The intended market for the 777X is very long range, and the GE90 is the most fuel efficient engine in the sky today, and GE promises further improvements in the 1-2% range. On an ultra long range aircraft Fuel economy is serious business, and a 2% advantage in fuel burn over a 7000 mile sector is BIG revenue over the life of the airframe. 3). While the GE90 had a serious weight penalty relative to the competition, as the thrust on the PW engines and on the RR engines has been increased, this penalty has diminished. In fact the PW4098 and GE90 weights are only a few hundred pounds different, and a very large portion of the weight advantage the Trent 800 enjoyed over the GE90 has also disappeared. The combination of early delivery, good fuel economy, and competitive engine shipset weight is tough to argue with. The reported problems with the A340-500, and the improvements in the Asian Economy suggest that 777X launch with an in service date very close the A340-500/600 is probably very near. It will obviously raise the bar on the A3XX as well, as Airbus will have to offer a substantial direct cost improvement relative to the 777X family, as opposed to the 747-400. The problem with very long running programs is the goal posts tend to get moved, and I suspect that is part of the A3XX problem. My guess is that if A3XX is not lauched before 777X, A3XX will never be launched in anything resembling the current form.. No doubt all of this is causing a certain level of anxiety at Airbus Industries... My opinions anyway..