Re: GE90 troubles make page 1 of the Wall St. Journal

From: (H Andrew Chuang)
Organization: International Internet Association.
Date:         17 Jul 95 04:29:43 
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In article <>,
Karl Swartz <kls@ohare.Chicago.COM> wrote:
>Wednesday's Wall St. Journal has a long article on page 1, column 1,
>on the GE90's problems.  It notes that the GE90-powered 777 test fleet
>has now been grounded for over two months.  It also says that the FAA
>issued a "leter of discontinuance" on June 26, formally halting tests
>of the 777/GE90 combination.
>The article highlights doubts about GE's ability to meet the Sept. 28
>deadline to deliver British Airways' first two GE90-powered 777s,

I read an article from the newswire that GE has passed the bird-ingestion
retest with the new platform fix last week.  GE is now retrofitting the
flight-test engines and expected to resume the flight test soon.  I also
read a report in Flight International saying that as long as they can
resume the flight test before mid-July, Boeing and GE will be able to meet
September deadline.

>goes on to describe how the failures have cost GE some sales (Korean's
>order in particular) which in turn has long-term ramifactions, since
>losing an order from a given airline now almost certainly means no
>chance of GE winning any followup orders from that airline.

There are always exceptions, aren't there?  JAL switched from P&W to GE
when they ordered the B747-400, but went back to P&W for the B777.
Lufthansa ordered the V2500 for the A320 but switched to the CFM56 before
the planes were delivered.  Later, they ordered the V2500-powered A321,
but switched back to the CFM56 again with their recently-ordered A319s.
>From what I have heard, even long before the failed bird-strike test in May,
GE didn't have much chance with Korean's order.  P&W and R-R were all along
the front-runners in the Korean competition.  R-R was rumored to basically
give the engines free to KAL.  I think one reason why P&W got the order
is because P&W is the only engine company made a firm commitment to the
98,000 lb thrust engine which will power the B777-300.

>GE says
>that the problems are to be expected with a brand new engine, and
>points out that P&W-powered 767s have over seven times the in-flight
>shutdown rate of GE versions, but that's small solace if early bugs
>drive customers away from the GE90.

Even with its initial problem in the early 80s, the PW4000 is doing quite
well now.  Similarly, IAE had many many problems initially.  Now the V2500
has more than 30% of the market that it competes in.  So, I think it's too
early to call.

BTW, I think "GE90" and "JT9D" kinda rhyme with each other.  The JT9D is
the most short-lived commercial turbofan engine, I wonder if ... ;-)

  H Andrew Chuang