From: Andrew Chuang <email@example.com> Date: 11 Aug 94 02:18:15 References: 1 Followups: 1
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General Electric / CFM International ==================================== Before the CF6-powered DC-10, the only GE commercial engine that I'm aware of was the CJ805, a turbojet that powered the Convair 880 and 990. About 25 years ago, When Airbus was designing its A300 twin, Airbus really wanted an European engine. The CF6 got a head start with the Airbus because of GE's partnership with SNECMA and MTU(?). By my rough estimate, GE's CF6 and CFM56 power more than 70% of all the Airbus planes in service and on order. Nonetheless, GE's dominance may be fading. The A330 is the first Airbus product that will predominately be powered by non-GE/CFMI engines; GE even fell behind Rolls-Royce, the "new kid" in town. (It's ironic that an American engine with some European participation was considered more "European" than the Rolls engines, especially when SNECMA/MTU involvement in the CF6 program was a token one. It is most amusing that it took almost twenty years to put a "pure"-European engine on an European Airbus! On the other hand, British Airways have never ordered an Airbus plane from Airbus, yet! And I wonder whether there will ever be an European airline flying an RR-powered Airbus?) Other than the DC-10 and the A300, the CF6 also power the B747, B767, A310, and recently the MD11 as well as the A330. The CF6 leads the competition in all applications except the B747-200/-300 and the A330. Although, SNECMA has a small interest in the CF6 program, the most important GE/SNECMA partnership is CFM International. Initially, CFMI did not have much success in selling the CFM56 for reengineing the B707 and DC-8. However, the second-generation B737 arguably made the CFM56 one of the most successful engine programs ever. The popularity of the CFM56-powered Boeing 737-300/400/500 certainly has propelled GE to displace P&W as the overall market leader. IMHO, this is why GE is willing to share the B737-600/700/800 development cost to maintain its monopoly to power the next generation B737. The CFM56 is also used on the A320/321/319. In addition, it is currently the only powerplant for the four-engined A340. During the last decade, the engine thrust requirement had steadily been increasing. With the success of the B767 and A310 over-water extended-range twin operations (ETOPS), airlines are interested in bigger twins. As a result, the A330, and later the even bigger B777, were launched to satisfy the market needs. Unfortunately, the CF6 has reached its limits and GE must design a brand-new engine, the GE90, for the B777. At the time, GE was convinced that there would be a strong market for the growth B777 and 600- to 800-seat NLA-type aircraft(*see below). As a result, the GE90 was designed with ample room to grow, and it is significantly larger than the competitiors' derivative engines. The GE90 has the largest fan (123" diameter vs. competitors' 110" and 112", or 20% more in frontal area), it has the highest bypass ratio (~9-10 vs. ~7-8), and the highest pressure ratio (~40 vs. ~35). The high bypass ratio helps to increase the engine propulsive efficiency, while the high pressure ratio helps to increase the thermal efficiency. However, all of the recent proposals for NLA-type aircraft--such as the B747X and A3XX-- as well as the "long-forgotten" four-engined MD12 require engines in 70K-lb thrust range. Although GE may offer a derated GE90 with a smaller fan, an improved CF6 derivative may be a more competitive product. Then, with only the B777 platform, the future of the GE90 is not exactly bright. Nevertheless, the GE90--developed by GE, SNECMA, Fiat, and IHI of Japan--is supposedly the most (specific-)fuel-efficient and environmental-friendly engine. GE's significant customers: American, All Nippon, Air France, Lufthansa, JAL (B747-400s) CFMI's significant customers: Southwest, Lufthansa, United, Continental, USAir and many other big B737 operators *NLA - New Large Airplane, I believe it is a Boeing project name. VLCT - Very Large Commercial Transport, I believe this is the term used by the joint investigating team of Boeing and partners of Airbus. VHCT - Very-High-Capacity Transport is the new Airbus term for the A3XX. VLA - Very Large Aircraft, I can't trace the origin of this name.