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

From:         chuanga@iia2.org (H Andrew Chuang)
Organization: International Internet Association.
Date:         17 Jul 95 04:29:43 
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In article <airliners.1995.1056@ohare.chicago.com>,
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.

>and
>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   chuanga@iia2.org