Re: Engines for B747X

From: (H Andrew Chuang)
Organization: Concentric Internet Services
Date:         20 May 96 10:13:16 
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In article <airliners.1996.684@ohare.Chicago.COM>,
Karl Swartz <kls@ohare.Chicago.COM> wrote:
>>IMHO, GE probably had mis-sized the GE90 that they now have to
>>develop a new engine for the proposed B747 derivatives.
>Is 70,000 lbs (as on the A330) the practical limit for the CF6-80?
>If so, perhaps that has something to do with the A330 being the first
>Airbus airframe on which GE hasn't had the largest share of the engine

Probably so.  I believe the current -80E1 (on the A330) is rated at
67,000 lb.  A 72K version was planned, but I believe it has been cancelled.
With only three airline operators (namely, Air Inter, Aer Lingus and
Philippine), the CF6 is lagging way behind the competitors.  The ILFC's
order earlier this year certainly helps a lot.

>Still, the 747X requirements are only a bit lower than those of the
>777 (77,000 lbs on the A-market model).  A slightly de-rated GE90
>would suffer weight disadvantages but it still might be competetive.

First of all, all three manufacturers have their engines derated for
the A-market B777.  Furthermore, the GE90 is already suffering from
great weight disadvantages on the B777 (approximately 6,000 lb heavier
than the Trent 800, and 4,000 lb heavier than the PW4084), GE is
pinning its hope on the growth versions of the B777.  GE claims the
100K version will only be 150 lbs heavier than the base engine.  The
GE90 is simply too heavy for the 747X; ground clearance may be another

>The Wall St. Journal had a big article in last Thursday's edition that
>seemed to imply that Boeing pushed them into it.  Presumably, despite
>Boeing's assertion after the original 747 that they would never again
>offer an airliner without a choice of engines, they've decided that
>the financial advantages of limiting engine options are just too great.
>(Both the second and third generation 737s offer only CFM-56 engines.)

GE's financial strength certainly played a role in the exclusive deal
with the third generation B737.  IMHO, the B737 market is large
enough to support two competitors, but the 747X probably won't be.
In addition to the B737, if GE gets its will and get exclusive sourcing
for the 747X (with Pratt), A340-600, and possibly the Chinese AE-100
(with the CFM56-9 which is competing with the PW6000 and BR700), it's
scary how GE might dominate the market in the future.

>On the surface, this seems like a major blow for Rolls.  However,
>several likely 747-500X/600X customers already have Rolls-powered 777s
>on order.  With the GE/Pratt joint venture, Rolls will offer the only
>engine that can power both the 777 and the 747-500X/600X.  That seems
>like a major advantage for Rolls.

True, but the only problem is Rolls may not be given a chance.

  H Andrew Chuang (