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GEC-2009-10 1000 GE90
GEC-2010-01-ATW AVIATION TECHNOLOGY AWARD
GEC-2011-10 - LEAP ENGINE
GEC-2014-08 - GE9X PROGRESS
GEC-2014-09 - ENGINE SALES GROWTH
GEC-2014-09 - ENGINE SALES GROWTH-A
GEC-2014-10 - 1ST LEAP ENGINE FLIGHT
GEC-2015-05 - LEAP ENGINE TEST.jpg
GEC-2016-11 - CFM INTNL LEAP-1B.jpg
GEC-2018-11 Goodbye Old Girl - Last 747 Flight.jpg
PRIVATE OPERATOR. JET AIRPLANES USED FOR FLYING TESTBED FOR ENGINES.
USA (United States of America) was established in 1776, it covers an area of 9,363,123 sq km, its population is 280 million, its capital city is Washington DC, and its official language is English.
JANUARY 2002: HERB DEPP VP (GE) AVIATION OPERATIONS (GEC).
August 2002: Karen Tripp General Manager Global Communications.
October 2002: (GE) Aviation (GEC) held a dedication event for its 91,440-sq-m composites factory in Batesville, Mississipi. Officially known as the (GE) Batesville Composites Operation, the facility will produce the fan platforms and fan case for the (GEnx).
(GE) Aircraft Engines lays off -2,888 jobs (-10%) with -1,000 immediate cuts and -1,200 to -1,800 cut next year.
January 2003: David Joyce VP Commercial Engines Operation.
(GE) 2002 = +$14.1 Billion:, including (GE) Aircraft Engines (GEC) +$2.06 Billion (+$2.15 Billion), & (GECAS) (GEF) +$429 Million (+$475 Million).
July 2003: (GE) Aircraft Engines (GEC) 2nd Quarter operations = +$560 Million (+$566 Million).
April 2004: Evergreen Aviation Technologies Corp, a joint venture between (EVA) and (GE) (GEC) will perform "D" checks on Asiana (AAR)'s 747-400's.
October 2005: General Electric (GE) named Bradley Mottier President & (CEO) (GE) Engine Services (GEC) within (GE) Transportation, Aircraft Engines. He replaces Dan Heintzelman, who assumes the role of VP Energy Services for (GE) Energy. Mottier has served as President & (CEO) of Unison Industries, a wholly owned subsidiary of Aircraft Engines' Engine Services operation, since (GE) acquired Unison in 2002. Prior to the acquisition, he worked for >20 years at Unison.
February 2006: (CFM) International (cfmi) completed a 63-hour flight test program on its (CFM56-5B)/(CFM56-7B) Technical Insertion package, paving the way for certification in June and Entry Into Service (EIS) in 2007 on the A320/737NG. The program incorporates technologies developed and validated as part of "Project TECH56" and includes improvements to the high-pressure compressor, combustor and high- and low-pressure turbines. According to (CFMI), the package will provide operators with longer time on wing, about -5% lower maintenance costs, -15% to -20% lower NOx emissions and better fuel burn. Technical Insertion will become the new production configuration for both the (CFM56-7B) and (CFM56-5B). (CFMI) also is defining potential upgrade kits that could be made available by late 2007.
May 2006: General Electric (GEC) said it finalized the architectural design for the version of the (GEnx) that will power the 747-8 Dreamliner. Completion of this milestone, referred to as "Tollgate 6" in (GE)'s new product nomenclature, "begins the detailed design phase of the engine." It will feature a 105-inch fan compared to 111 inch for the 787 and will be rated at 66,500 lbs thrust versus 75,000 lbs maximum takeoff thrust for the 787. Certification testing for 747-8 variant will begin next year with flight-testing aboard the 747-8 scheduled for late 2008.
July 2006: (GE) Aviation (GEC) announced a partnership with the Mississippi Development Authority to pursue establishing a jet engine component facility in the state that would open in 2007 - 2008 and produce composite fan blade platforms for the (GEnx). It will start with an incubator program at Mississippi State University's College of Engineering.
January 2007: (GE) (GEC) said it will acquire Smiths Aerospace for $4.8 billion in cash, combining its airplane engine business with Smiths' broad array of avionics equipment and components, under terms of a blockbuster agreement announced by the companies.
"The acquisition will broaden (GE) (GEC)'s offerings for aviation customers by adding Smiths' innovative flight management systems (FMS), electrical power management, mechanical actuation systems and airborne platform computing systems to (GE) Aviation (GEC)'s commercial and military airplane engines and related services," (GE) (GEC) said in a statement.
(GE) (GEC) pointed out that Smiths Aerospace, which has >11,000 employees and generated $2.4 billion in revenue last year, is providing components and systems for many of the same airplane types for which (GE) (GEC) is supplying engines, including the 737, 787, A320, and A380. On the 787, for example, Smiths is developing the Common Core System, essentially the nervous system for the airplane. If the transaction closes, (GE) (GEC) will have half of the engine business, plus a major share of the systems on the 787.
The transaction still needs to gain the approval of Smiths' shareholders and both USA and European Union (EU) regulatory authorities. (GE) (GEC)'s attempt to acquire Honeywell (SGC) was rejected by the (EU) in 2001.
The companies also said they will launch a separate joint venture that will bring together (GE) (GEC) Security's Homeland Protection and Smiths Detection, giving the 2 companies a more significant footprint in the security detection equipment business, including airline security. The security detection Joint Venture (JV) will be 36%-owned by (GE) (GEC) with Smiths holding 64%. A definitive agreement is expected to be signed in the 2nd quarter, (GE) (GEC) said.
But it is the acquisition of Smiths Aerospace that appears likely to have the greatest impact on commercial aviation. "(GE) (GEC) and Smiths fit together well because our product offerings are complementary, and because we have similar customers and deep domain expertise in this industry," (GE) (GEC) Chairman & (CEO) Jeff Immelt said. "(GE) Aviation (GEC) is growing about +10% a year and this acquisition gives us a technology growth platform that will be accretive to our net income and will deliver immediate and future value for our investors." (GE) Aviation (GEC) had >$13 billion in revenue last year.
Smiths said it plans to return £2.1 billion/$4.1 billion to shareholders once the sale closes.
May 2007: (GE) Aviation (GEC) announced that it completed the $4.8 billion all-cash acquisition of Smiths Aerospace, giving the engine-maker its long-sought role in aviation components and systems. (GE)'s proposed merger with Honeywell (SGC) was blocked by (EU) regulators in 2001. Smiths supplies flight management systems, electrical power management, mechanical actuation systems and airborne platform computing systems. It is developing the Common Core for the 787 Dreamliner, which has been described as the 787's central nervous system and is also on the A380 and the Joint Strike Fighter.
"Smiths Aerospace is a natural expansion of our Aviation business," said (GE) Aviation (GEC), President & (CEO) Scott Donnelly. "Both businesses have a strong commitment to technology and innovative products and services, and we have a similar customer base. The acquisition brings additional technology growth platforms to (GE) Aviation (GEC) and allows us to further help our customers meet their needs." Smiths Aerospace, which was part of Smiths Group, has >11,000 employees and had $2.4 billion in revenues in 2006. The combined (GE) Aviation (GEC) and Smiths Aerospace revenues in 2006 were $15.6 billion.
(CFM) International said its (CFM56-7B) and (CFM56-5B) "Tech Insertion" program is on track, noting that the 1st airplane powered by the (CFM56-7B) engines with the feature, a 737-900ER, was delivered to Jakarta-based Lion Air (MLI) at the end of last month. Entry into service of the (CFM56-5B) variant for A320 family airplanes is planned for the 2007 4th quarter. "We expect the [Airbus (EDS)] airplane certification during the 3rd quarter," confirmed Executive VP, Francois Planaud at a briefing in Helsinki that focused on the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM)'s commitment to produce environmentally friendly engines. He stressed that "Tech Insertion" will deliver value to operators, including up to -5% lower maintenance costs through enhanced durability and up to -1% fuel consumption improvement. The engine complies with the new (ICAO) (CAEP)/6 standards on (NOX) emissions scheduled to be implemented next year. The company's LEAP 56 (Leading Edge Aviation Propulsion) program also is moving ahead, Planaud said. He disclosed that (CFM) is evaluating "game-changing" architectures, including a counter-rotating fan and an open-rotor fan. The former will meet stringent noise reduction requirements and the latter will deliver fuel burn reductions. (CFM) co-parent General Electric (GEC) has experience with open rotor fans, having developed the Unducted Fan demonstrator in the 1980s, which was mated to the MD-80 Ultra High Bypass Demonstrator. Tests on a 2-stage counter-rotating fan could be launched in the near future.
(CFM) announced the launch of "LEAP 56" at the Paris Air Show 2 years ago, where it was presented as a program to develop the technology for a new engine to be available for use on next-generation airplanes with entry into service as early as 2012. But President & (CEO) Eric Bachelet was more cautious on the time frame in a recent briefing. "The idea is to clearly launch a development program when and if a new [narrow body] airplane development program is initiated," he said. "The schedule really is in the hands of the [airframe Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM)s]. I notice that the customer base of the current narrow bodies are very happy with the present airplanes and keep ordering them. Probably a big part of the equation will be the price of fuel."
"LEAP 56" technology goals are a -10 to -15 dB noise improvement, a -10% to -15% lower specific fuel consumption, a -15% to -25% reduction in maintenance costs, an initial on-wing life increase of +25% and emissions that would be -60% lower than today's (CFM56-5B) and (CFM56-7B) power plants for A320s and 737s.
(CFM) President Eric Bachelet reiterated his confidence that Pratt & Whitney (P&W)'s initiative to develop replacement parts for (CFM56-3) engines will not affect its business. "We don't fear competition, we're used to it. We've [been] competing for 30 years and we're continuously adding value. We have invested $1.5 billion in upgrading the technology and customers know this." He also maintained that (CFM) is not interested in launching a similar initiative to produce replacement parts for its competitor's engines. "We are very clear: We will not do that," he said. "We do not think it is the right thing to do because we do not know their engines. We invest in our own product line and keep adding value to it."
June 2007: (GE) Aviation (GEC) announced that Air Pacific (APC) selected the (GEnx) to power its 5 firm and 3 option 787-9s. Engines will begin delivering in 2011 and are valued at >$100 million at list prices.
July 2007: (GE) Aviation (GEC) signed a 10-year "OnPoint Solutions" services agreement with easyJet (EZY) covering the (CFM56-5B) and (CFM56-7B) engines powering its fleet of 192 A319s and 32 737-700s respectively. The accord, which could cover as many as 340 shop visits, potentially is valued at $1 billion.
October 2007: (GE) Aviation (GEC) was selected to provide Flight Management System (FMS)s for 200 737 Classics operated by Southwest Airlines (SWA), in what may be the largest cockpit retrofit program announced to date. The technology upgrade is in keeping with (SWA)'s plan to implement Required Navigation Performance (RNP) at every airport it serves. The value of the deal was not disclosed. Deliveries are scheduled for 2008 through 2009. The (FMS)s will be supplied by the Systems division of (GEC), formerly Smiths Aerospace. "Southwest (SWA) is pleased to select (GEC) to provide this key capability to our Classic airplanes, which will enable our entire 737 fleet to operate more efficiently in today's air traffic environment," said Executive VP & Chief of Operations Mike Van de Ven.
(GEC) began testing the new (CF34-10A), that will power the ARJ21-700 being built by China Aviation Industry Corp. After a successful break-in run, the engine achieved 70% of its maximum thrust capability of more than 20,000 lbs during an initial test conducted on October 8. The (CF34-10A) has about 80% commonality with the (CF34-10E) used on Embraer E190/E195 airplanes. It will be certified at up to 18,500 lbs to meet thrust requirements for the 90-passenger ARJ 21-700. Certification by the USA (FAA) is expected by late 2008. (GEC) has sold almost 4,000 (CF34)s for regional jets.
November 2007: (GE) Aviation (GEC) announced a $1.4 billion overhaul support agreement with Saudi Arabian Airlines (SVA) under which it will support the carrier's plans to perform Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) on (GE90), (CF6), and (CF34) engines at a new facility in Jeddah. The agreement includes a Memo of Understanding (MOU) for (GEC) to supply material to Saudi Arabian (SVA) for 14 years following the opening of the new center.
(GEC) signed a 10-year, $51 million "OnPoint Solution" agreement with Saudi Low Cost Carrier (LCC) Sama (SMA) covering Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) of its (CFM56-3) engines. (SMA) 1st flew in March and now operates 6 737-300s to 12 domestic destinations. It plans to operate 35 airplanes in 2010.
January 2008: Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA) announced it has scheduled a 747 biofuel demonstration flight for February. Unveiled in October, the alternative fuels initiative will start with a flight from London Heathrow to Amsterdam with no passengers, and using "a truly sustainable type of biofuel, that doesn't compete with food and fresh water resources." Boeing (TBC) and (GE) Aviation (GEC) will participate in the test. Further details on the fuel were not released, but (VAA) Chairman, Richard Branson said Virgin (VAA) "pledged to invest all its profits from its transportation companies towards developing clean energy."
March 2008: (GE) Aviation (GEC) announced a $30 million project to expand (GEASO), its engine repair facility in Singapore, to 76,200 sq m. The expansion is projected to more than double last year's $250 million revenue by 2013. Construction will begin in April and is slated for completion next year.
(GE) Aviation (GEC) began a scrap reclamation program with Turkish Airlines (THY) as launch partner to recycle hardware containing rhenium. The program calls for customers to return scrap (HPT) blades made from nickel superalloys containing rhenium to (GE). "The program will help them with their environmental efforts as well as help reduce the costs associated with material disposal. For (GE), it will help us reduce our need for rhenium, which is a rare and costly element," VP Supply Chain Scott Ernest said. The material is to be cleaned and melted for reuse. Work will be carried out by (THY) subsidiary, Turkish Technic.
The (GEnx-2B) engine for the 748-8 demonstrated 70,950 lbs of takeoff thrust during ground testing at (GE)'s outdoor testing facility in Peebles, Ohio. Ground testing on the engine began with idle runs on February 29. "This achievement marks a significant milestone in the (GEnx-2B) program," Program General Manager Tom Brisken said. Certification will involve 5 engines and is anticipated in the 1st half of 2009 with Entry Into Service (EIS) later next year.
Avianca (AVI) reached a $750 million, 15-year "OnPoint Solutions" deal with (GE) Aviation (GEC) for Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) services on (CFM56-5B) engines powering 50 A319s/A320s. The work will be performed at (GEC)'s Celma shop in Petropolis, Brazil. (AVI) took delivery of its 1st A320-200 on lease from (CIT) Aerospace (TCI). It is the 1st of 3 airplanes (TCI) will deliver to (AVI) this year.
April 2008: (GE) Aviation (GEC) won USA (FAA) (GEnx-1B) engine authority for the 787 following a 2-year ground and flight-test program involving 8 engines and 2 flight-test programs. The (GEnx-1B), now FAR 33 certified, ran 4,800 cycles and >3,600 hours.
May 2008: (GE) Aviation (GEC) expects to deliver nearly 500 (CF34)s in 2008, based on current order books for regional airplanes, General Manager (CF34) Program Chuck Nugent said, adding that 700 deliveries in 2010 are possible. Engines from the (CF34) family are used to power regional airplanes in the 50/120-seat category. Nugent said that (GEC) has invested $2 billion in developing the (CF34) series and expects to spend >$1 billion this year for new technology, that will enhance fuel consumption and lower maintenance costs. "(GEC) is not taking its leadership role in regional airplanes for granted," he said. It is working on technology for a new centerline (CF34) for next-generation (RJ)s that will use some of the advanced materials and designs from the (GEnx) for the 787 and 747-8.
Airbus (EDS) continues to discuss an A350 XWB powerplant with (GEC) Executive VP Head of A350 Program, Didier Evrard said at a briefing in Toulouse. Currently, the only engine available on the long-range airplane is Rolls-Royce's (Trent XWB). The A350 has garnered 362 orders from 22 customers and is scheduled to enter service (the A340-XWB-900) in 2013. Evrard said he had "no forecast" for the discussions and that the manufacturer is "waiting" for (GEC) to design and offer an engine that meets Airbus (EDS)'s requirements.
VP Marketing Colin Stuart said Airbus (EDS) has no problem moving forward with the A350 program with just 1 engine supplier and pointed out that there is ample precedent in the market. However, he did concede that competition and innovation are good for both the program and customers and that Airbus (EDS) would prefer a 2nd engine-maker commit to the A350.
July 2008: (GE) Aviation (GEC) announced that Southwest Airlines (SWA) signed a 10-year "OnPoint Solution" agreement covering maintenance and overhaul of all its current and future (CFM56-7B)s, totaling >660 currently in operation and an additional +200 on order. (GEC) valued the contract at >$2 billon over its life.
(GEC) appointed David Joyce, 51, as President & (CEO) of (GEC) succeeding Scott Donnelly, who was named (COO) of Textron.
Joyce has been VP Commercial Engines since 2003 and is a 21-year veteran of (GEC)'s engine business. He is the 1st insider chosen to run the unit since the late Brian Rowe, who retired in 1993.
"David is one of the best aviation minds in the world," (GEC) Chairman & (CEO) Jeff Immelt said. "He knows the technology, he knows the people and issues in the industry, and he knows what customers need." As General Manager of the small commercial engine operation, Joyce led (GEC)'s successful bid to power China's ARJ21 regional jet. He also oversaw the certification program for the (CF34-8) for the CRJ-900 and E170/E175. He joined (GE) in 1980 as a product engineer and spent 15 years in design and development of commercial and military engines.
Donnelly had held the top spot at (GEC) since July 2005. Prior to that, he was Senior VP & Director of (GE) Global Research.
(GEC) said Saudi Arabian Airlines (SVA) reaffirmed its selection of the (GEnx) to power its 12 787-9s, 8 of which will be leased from Aviation Lease and Finance Company with deliveries starting in 2014. The 24 (GEnx) engines will be supported with a long-term overhaul material agreement with (GEC).
(GEC) and Ryanair (RYR) signed a 3-year extension to include all current firm and option airplanes on order by (RYR) in its current "OnPoint Solutions" all-inclusive Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) agreement for (CFM56-7B)s powering its 737-800s. The original agreement was signed in 2004 and the new deal keeps it in force until 2017. In addition, it expands the coverage to include the new Tech Insertion engines first introduced into the (RYR) fleet in 2007.
August 2008: (GE) Aviation (GEC) won a 6-year "OnPoint Solution" contract from Virgin Blue (VOZ) covering Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) services on (CFM56-7B)s operated by (VOZ) and its Pacific Blue (PBI) subsidiary. The contract is valued at $300 million.
October 2008: (GE) Aviation (GEC) is working with (NASA) on a wind-tunnel test program to evaluate counter-rotating fan-blade systems for an "open rotor" engine design that hearkens back to their joint efforts a quarter of a century ago. Testing will begin at (NASA)'s Glenn Research Center in Ohio in early 2009, and continue into mid-year, (GEC) said. The company noted that "this is not a full engine test, but a component rig test to evaluate subscale fan systems using (GEC)'s and (NASA)'s advanced computational tools and data acquisition systems." The effort represents something of a "back to the future" moment, as the 2 teamed up in the 1980s to test scale-model counter-rotating fan systems that led to the development of the (GE36). Although it fell victim to lower oil prices and never entered production, (GEC) flew the (GE36) (UDF) (unducted fan) on a 727 and an MD-80. The MD-80 also appeared and flew at the 1988 Farnborough Airshow. According to (GEC), the engine "demonstrated fuel savings of >30%" compared to similar-sized conventional power plants.
(GEC) said that since then, "it has dramatically advanced its data acquisition systems and computational tools to better understand and improve open rotor systems." For the (NASA) tests, (GEC) will run 2 rows of counter rotating fan blades at 1/5 sub-scale in several configurations. The project will be funded by itself and (NASA). Snecma, which is a 50/50 partner with (GEC) in (CFM) International, will participate with fan blade designs. Snecma was a 35% participant on the (GE36) program.
(GEC) Systems named Lorraine Bolsinger President & (CEO). She had been VP of Ecomagination, (GEC)'s sustainable business initiative.
December 2008: (GE) Aviation (GEC) signed a contract with Singapore Airlines (SIA) to launch its "OnPoint Solutions" covering systems content and capabilities for 777s. The contract support is expected to begin in the 1st quarter of next year, after final agreement details are complete. (GEC)'s Singapore facility will provide program management for the project.
(TBC) announced a deal with Southwest Airlines (SWA) to serve as lead integrator for the carrier's 737-300/-700 flight deck upgrade to incorporate performance-based navigation capabilities. The contract includes design, installation and integration of hardware and software from multiple suppliers, as well as flight testing and certification. The integration program calls for 737-300 modification with avionics supplied by (GE) Aviation (GEC), Honeywell (SGC) and Rockwell Collins. (GE) Aviation (GEC) said it won a $40 million deal with (SWA) to provide its SDS-6000 large area display suite. Systems will be installed on up to 150 airplanes. First production deliveries are slated for early 2011.
(GEC) announced a $40 million deal with Azerbaijan Airlines (AHY) to provide (CF6-80C2)s to power 2 forthcoming 767-300ERs. Deliveries are slated for 2010. (AHY) operates (CFM56-5)s on its A320 fleet and has 4 (CFM56-7B)-powered 737-900s and 2 (GEnx)-powered 787s on order.
February 2009: (CFM) International announced that Lufthansa (DLH) selected the (CFM56-5B) to power 27 A319s/A320s it has on order. The contract is worth approximately $375 million and includes (CFM)'s "Tech Insertion" option. Deliveries will commence this year and continue through 2012. (DLH) currently operates >150 (CFM56)-powered Airbus (EDS) and Boeing (TBC) airplanes, the Snecma/General Electric (GE) joint venture said.
March 2009: GE Aviation (GEC) opened its new systems manufacturing facility in Suzhou about 50 miles west of Shanghai. The 18,000 sq m facility will produce autoclaved composite parts, mechanical fabrications, structure assembly and civil airplane actuation systems and will employ 200 by year end.
General Electric (GE) said it signed a definitive agreement to purchase Teleflex Incorporated's 51% share of Airfoil Technologies International (ATI)-Singapore for $300 million in cash. (GE) and Teleflex are partners in the Singapore-based compressor airfoil overhaul facility. According to (GE), (ATI)-Singapore started operations in 1998 servicing (CF6) and (CFM56) components "but has expanded to service all (GE) commercial aviation, marine and industrial engines, as well as Pratt & Whitney (P&W) and Honeywell (SGC) components." Its 535 employees repair >2 million compressor airfoils annually. "The purchase of the remaining shares of (ATI)-Singapore will allow us to better develop (GE) Aviation (GEC)'s repair technologies and work more closely with our customers to provide the best benefits to meet their needs," (GE) Aviation (GEC) President & (CEO) David Joyce said.
(GE) Aviation (GEC) said it completed its acquisition of Airfoil Technologies International (ATI), Singapore with the purchase of Teleflex's 51% stake for $300 million. ATI-Singapore employs some 535 and repairs >2 million compressor airfoils per year, (GE) said.
(GEC) said its (GEnx-2B) engine began flight testing this month on its 747-121 (19651, N747GE) flying testbed. About 40 flights with the engine are planned for this spring and summer.
SEE PHOTO - - "GEC-747-MAR09".
April 2009: (GE) Aviation (GEC) said the USA (FAA) certified the flight management system (FMS) software Update 10.8 for 737NGs. The (FMS) 10.8 update is standard fit for all 737 production airplanes from February. According to (GEC), it provides improved operation and increased navigation data base size and supports the blended winglet installation on all 737s. It is compliant with Required Navigation Performance (RNP) standards and provides output of airplane 4-D trajectory.
May 2009: (GE) Aviation (GEC) signed a 10-year OnPoint solution agreement with Gulf Air (GUL) covering the (CFM56-5B)s (GUL) ordered to power 15 A320s scheduled for delivery between 2009 and 2013. The contract is valued at >$100 million.
(CFM) International President & (CEO) Eric Bachelet said that the Continental Airlines (CAL) 737-800 that operated a test flight early this year with 1 of its (CFM56-7B) engines powered by a biofuel blend including algae oil and jatropha oil performed well and predicted that such blends "will be a significant component of the fuel used" by commercial aviation within 5 to 7 years. "By the middle of the next decade, you will start to see biofuels used by the industry," he said in an interview this week in Peebles, Ohio. "If you want [commercial aviation] to be sustainable in the medium-to-long future, you can only go so far with improving engine performance and so you have to come to biofuel," he said, adding that producing biofuel to power flights is "becoming more of a supply issue than a technology issue." He noted that testing has revealed no airplane engine hardware changes that would be necessary to accommodate biofuel.
June 2009: (GE) Aviation (GEC) and (NASA) (NAS) plan to begin wind tunnel testing this summer to "evaluate counter-rotating fan-blade systems" for open rotor jet designs, (GEC) said. Testing will be conducted throughout 2009 and early 2010 at (NAS)'s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. For the (NAS) tests, (GEC) will run 2 rows of counter-rotating fan blades with 12 blades in the front row and 10 in the back row. It said the composite fan blades "are 1/5 subscale in size" and will be tested at low-altitude airplane speeds "for acoustic evaluation" and also in "high-altitude cruise conditions in order to evaluate blade efficiency and performance."
The 2 said they have spent several months refurbishing a special (NAS) test rig that was used in the 1980s to test scale model counter-rotating fan systems that led to development of the open rotor (GE36) engine that flew at the 1988 Farnborough Air Show on an MD-80. The current program is being funded by (GEC) and the Fundamental Aeronautics Program of (NASA) (NAS)'s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate in Washington, according to (GEC), which added that Snecma will participate with fan blade designs.
(GEC) officially unveiled the (GEnx) engine in a ceremony at the Paris Air Show. The backlog for the 787/747-8 powerplant stands at >1,000. (GEC) describes it as the "1st engine with a carbon fiber, composite fan case and fan blades." It is expected to offer up to 15% improved fuel efficiency compared to (GEC)'s (CF6).
(GE) Aviation (GEC) reached agreement with WestJet (WJI) on an exclusive 12-year OnPoint contract, valued at $850 million to provide Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) services for (WJI)'s fleet of (CFM56-7)s powering its fleet of 79 737NGs. The work will be performed at the StandardAero plant in Winnipeg.
Boeing (TBC) and (GEC) said they have "jointly developed a simpler method to implement condition-based maintenance systems on airplanes." Called Open System Architecture for Condition-Based Maintenance (OSA)-(CBM), the system will provide "a 10-fold increase in real time performance making it practical for embedded health monitoring of airplane systems," (GEC) President Avionics John Armendarez said.
Condition-based maintenance systems are predicated on integrating a variety of software and hardware components that are individually developed to monitor a single supplier's system. (GEC) and (TBC) said (OSA)-(CBM) "simplifies this process by specifying a standard architecture and framework." Boeing Research & Technology Director Support Services Peter Lawrence said, "This architecture allows airplane and major-airplane-system manufacturers to economically design and deliver health management capability within their fleets. The (OSA)-(CBM) framework provides a standard for systems to share health information." (TBC)/(GEC) said they jointly began developing the new system in December and have shared the funding burden.
July 2009: GE Aviation (GEC) said it "successfully completed a customer trial of its ClearCore engine wash effluent collection system" on a Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA) (CF6-80C2)-powered 747-400 at London Heathrow. According to (GEC), ClearCore will be offered as either an effluent collection system working with "existing front-end wash equipment" or as a complete wash and collection system.
October 2009: GE Aviation (GEC) inked a 15-year OnPoint solution agreement with Azul (AZL) covering maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) of (CF34-10E) engines that power the (AZL)'s 36 EMB-190s/-195s on firm order plus four on lease. The agreement is valued at $1 billion. Work will take place at the (GE) facility in Petropolis.
Delivers 1,000th GE-90 engine for the 777 program from its Peebles Plant, Ohio. It was installed on an Emirates (EAD) 777-300ER airplane - - SEE ATTACHED "GEC-2009-10 1000 GE90."
November 2009: GE Aviation (GEC) reported a slight dip in nine-month revenue, to just below $14 million for the period to the end of September, but profits were up +18%. to $2.87 billion. At sister company (GECAS) (GEF), the world's largest civil airplane lessor by fleet size, profits fell -22% to $746 million for the nine-month period, including a -33% drop in the third quarter. (GECAS) (GEF)'s total assets were up +1% to $50 billion, but its airplane leasing assets have yet to be disclosed.
GE Aviation (GEC) announced that it has acquired Naverus, the Performance-Based Navigation services provider that develops Required Navigation Performance (RNP) procedures for airlines and air traffic management organizations. Kent, Washington-based Naverus, a privately held company that employs around 60, was Air Transport World (ATW)'s 2009 "Aviation Technology Achievement Award" winner. In September, it received a Letter of Qualification from the USA (FAA) "to design and validate Required Navigation Performance (RNP) flight paths for public use in the United States" and over the summer signed a contract with Airservices Australia to develop the world's first nationwide Performance-Based Navigation network ("Eco-Aviation Today," July 10) .
"(GEC) is committed to delivering solutions that help our customers operate airplanes more efficiently, with reduced environmental impact," (GEC) Systems President & CEO, Lorraine Bolsinger said. (GEC) stated that combining Naverus's (RNP) technology with its existing suite of avionics and flight management systems "enables (GEC) to better address customers' needs for air traffic management service solutions." It noted that Naverus's (RNP) technology is aimed at "help[ing] airlines reduce flight time, carbon emissions and community noise on both approach and departure" and is "fundamental" to the transition to satellite-based Air Traffic Control (ATC).
Being acquired by (GEC) "is great news for Naverus and our customers," CEO, Steve Forte said. "Customers will continue to benefit from the same expertise and service for which Naverus is known, while the strength of (GEC) provides a platform for future innovation and growth."
(AVIC) and (GE) signed a framework agreement to launch an avionics joint venture (JV) targeted at the fast-growing Chinese aviation market. Lorraine Bolsinger, President & CEO of (GE)'s Aviation (GEC) Systems business, told reporters that (GE) and (AVIC) each will hold 50% of the (JV) but she declined to reveal the size of (GE)'s investment. (AVIC) VP ,Zhang Xinguo said his company has not yet decided how much to invest and when the (JV) will be established formally. "Our first priority is to make a bid for the C919 for the short term," Bolsinger noted. The C919, Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (CCC)'s large commercial airplane is scheduled to enter service in 2016. (COMAC) plans to produce 2,355 C919s over the next 20 years and has started inviting bids for the airplane's engines and airborne systems. It has said it prefers to do business with companies that establish cooperative relationships with Chinese airplane manufacturing enterprises.
Both (AVIC) and (GE) said their (JV) is meant for more than the C919. "(AVIC) will join hands with (GE) to create an advanced avionics platform to serve the global market and provide competitive solutions for our clients," (AVIC) President, Lin Zuomin said. Bolsinger added that the (JV) will aim to serve other next-generation narrow bodies and business jets. "I would say the market demand for the new generation of narrow body airplanes is about 20,000," she said.
December 2009: A (CFM56-7B) engine powering a 737-700 - - SEE PHOTO - - "GEC-2009-12-CFM56-7B" operated by TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) has logged more than >40,000 hours on the wing without a single removal, setting a new record for the engine model, (CFM) announced. It was installed in February 1999 and has logged 40,654 flight hours and more than >14,000 flight cycles to date.
(GE) said that (KLM) Engineering & Maintenance selected (GE) Sensing & Inspection Technologies' USM Go inspection device to perform nondestructive airplane and engine testing.
The Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (CCC) chose (CFM) International's (LEAP-X1C) to power the 150-seat C919, the country's large commercial airplane scheduled to enter service in 2016. This fall, the (GE)/Snecma joint venture said a baseline (LEAP-X) could be ready for certification in 2016, with a possible service entry in 2018. COMAC (CCC)'s deal with (CFM) is not exclusive and it eventually intends to add a domestically produced powerplant. It signed the agreement with (CFM) Monday during French Prime Minister, Francois Fillon's visit to Beijing.
(CCC) Chairman, Zhang Qingwei said during the signing ceremony that the (LEAP-X1C) will "be more fuel efficient and more environmentally friendly. That's why we decided to select it to power the C919, since higher fuel prices would increase carriers' operating costs and a reduction in carbon emissions will help airlines to better accommodate environmental requirements imposed by different parties, such as Europe's (ETS)." The (LEAP-X1C) will improve fuel efficiency and reduce carbon emissions by -16% compared to the (CFM56).
Meanwhile, (AVIC)'s Commerical Aircraft Engine Company has accelerated its research and development process and has finished a development plan for its commercial engine, which now is awaiting approval from Beijing. It signed a Memo of Understanding (MOU) with (CFM) to establish a ground test platform and final assembly line for the (LEAP-X1C) in China.
January 2010: GE Aviation (GEC) completed the acquisition of BMB Fuel Consulting Services of Ottawa, which identifies and tracks operational improvements for airlines that will reduce fuel consumption, according to (GEC).
February 2010: (CFM) International said certification of the (CFM56-7BE) is progressing on schedule with the powerplant set to begin a 150-hour block test "in the next few weeks . . . paving the way for the flight test program early this year." Engine certification is expected in mid-2010, leading to flight tests on the 737NG in early 2011, followed by certification of the airframe/engine combination and Entri Into Service (EIS) in mid-2011. The engine variant, coupled with enhancements to the airframe, will provide a +2% improvement in fuel consumption and up to -4% lower maintenance costs depending on thrust rating, according to (CFM).
March 2010: GE Aviation (GEC) and Air India (AIN) announced an agreement under which (AIN) will provide Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) services on the (GEnx-1B) with technical support and training from the (GEC). (AIN) has 27 (GEnx-1B)-powered 787s on order with delivery expected to begin next year. "(AIN) envisages a state-of-the-art facility catering to (GE90) and (GEnx) engines, including a new engine test facility," Chairman & Managing Director, Arvind Jadhav said.
April 2010: GE Aviation (GEC) said Gol Airlines (GOT) became the launch customer for its OnPoint Fuel & Carbon Services through which "GE Aviation (GEC) will work with Gol (GOT) to identify and track operational improvements that could reduce the airline's fuel spend by up to -5%."
Sid Ashworth, VP Washington DC Operations.
(CFM) International said development on its next-generation LEAP-X1C engine, selected late last year to power Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (CCC)'s 150-seat C919 slated to enter service in 2016, is progressing well with second-phase core testing underway and scheduled to conclude by mid-May. Executives from the GE Aviation (GEC)/Snecma joint venture, briefing a small group of reporters at GE Aviation (GEC)'s Cincinnati headquarters, expressed confidence that the Chinese airplane ultimately will appeal to airlines around the world and reiterated their strong interest in participating in potential narrow body re-engining programs that both Boeing (TBC) and Airbus (EDS) are considering launching this year.
Executive VP, Chaker Chahrour said a variation of the LEAP-X is the "lowest risk option" for a 737/A320 re-engining. He said (CFM) has been presenting options to both (TBC) and ( EDS). The manufacturers are "obviously pursuing a re-engine product very heavily," he said, though he cautioned that neither has "made up their mind that they're going to re-engine."
He asserted that the LEAP-X is a better option than rival Pratt & Whitney (P&W)'s (PW1000G) geared turbofan owing to an advanced-technology core. "We pride ourselves on cores," he explained, adding that the LEAP-X core is based on "ninth-generation" technology and lessons learned on previous (GE) and (CFM ) engine programs. "My competition doesn't have a [new] core, at least not for a re-engined product for the A320 or 737," he said. "The technology they're using for the [PW1000G] core is existing technology."
Even if the manufacturers decide against re-engining, (CFM) believes the C919 will give it the opportunity to prove that the LEAP-X can provide a -14% to -16% fuel burn reduction compared to today's narrow body powerplants.
Chahrour said COMAC (CCC) is putting significant "resources" and "energy" behind the airplane and shouldn't be underestimated despite skepticism that it will sell outside China. "We're very concerned about making it a commercial success," he commented. "The numbers in [the domestic Chinese airline market], as good as they are, don't really support a sustainable business case [for an airplane or an engine program]. We do think they will make it a global airplane. From the perspective of our business plan, we'd be very happy if that materializes in the early 2020s. We're very realistic and we know it could take awhile."
President & CEO, Eric Bachelet said the company has the resources to produce both the LEAP-X1C for the C919 and a variant for a 737/A320 re-engining. "We have studied scenarios of how to stagger [development and testing] to do both," he explained. "We have closely studied this and [doing both] is feasible."
June 2010: USA (FAA) Administrator, Randy Babbitt announced at Air Transport World (ATW)'s "Eco-Aviation" Conference that the (FAA) has awarded $125 million to five companies to "develop and demonstrate technologies that will reduce commercial jet fuel consumption, emissions and noise."
The five-year contracts are part of the (FAA)'s Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions and Noise program, or (CLEEN). The five companies:- Boeing (TBC), GE Aviation (GEC), Honeywell (SGC), Pratt & Whitney (PWC), and Rolls-Royce-North America (RRC), each will match the agency's investment dollar-for-dollar, bringing the total (CLEEN) investment to $250 million.
Delivering the keynote luncheon address at the conference in Washington, Babbitt acknowledged that commercial aviation has made "phenomenal progress" over the last decade in becoming more environmentally efficient but said the industry must "do more" to address "a national crisis with our environment that extends well beyond aviation. The (FAA) is going to push as hard as humanly possible to improve aviation's environmental efficiency."
He said technology developed through (CLEEN) "could be introduced into the commercial airplane fleet beginning in 2015. The goals of these research and demonstration efforts include: A reduction in fuel burn by -33%, a reduction of nitrogen oxide emissions by -60% and a reduction in cumulative airplane noise levels by 32 decibels. As early as 2015, you and I could be flying on quieter, cleaner, more efficient airplanes that are operating on alternative fuel."
Boeing (TBC) said it will receive $25 million from the (FAA) and contribute another $25 million to "conduct flight demonstrations of emergent airframe and engine technologies that have the potential of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and community noise." The technologies include adaptive wing trailing edges and ceramic matrix composite acoustic engine nozzles, (TBC) said, adding that they will be flight tested aboard a 737 in 2012 and "a yet-to-be-determined twin-aisle airplane in 2013."
(GEC) said the combined (CLEEN) investment of itself and the (FAA) will be "up to $66 million." (GEC) added that the contract "will help fund…[development of the] TAPS II combustor, open rotor and Flight Management System-Air Traffic Management (FMS-ATM) technologies." (GEC) will work with Lockheed Martin, AirDat and Alaska Airlines (ASA) to develop and demonstrate the technologies.
Honeywell (SGC) said it will use the contract money "to develop mature technology for fuel burn reduction and test aviation biofuels for use in Honeywell (SGC) turbine engines." It will use its (TECH7000) turbofan test engine as the basis for its research and work in conjunction with its (UOP) business.
Pratt & Whitney (PWC) said it will develop and demonstrate "low noise, highly efficient fans" and "low-emissions combustors" as part of the (CLEEN) program.
Babbitt said the "(CLEEN) consortium of companies" will meet twice annually to discuss progress on technological development. Asked which types of alternative fuels the (FAA) is interested in seeing developed, he said, "Everything is on the table."
July 2010: (COMAC) (CCC) announced that many of the C919's most critical systems will be developed and produced via joint ventures (JV)s between Western and Chinese companies, including a (GE) Aviation Systems (GEC)/(AVIC) (JV) that will be responsible for the airplane's avionics core processing system, display system and on board maintenance system.
In addition, Rockwell Collins and China Electronics Technology Avionics jointly will provide communication and navigation solutions for the airplane, and Eaton Corporation and Shanghai Aircraft Manufacturing Company jointly will develop and produce its fuel and hydraulic conveyance systems. The C919 is scheduled to enter service in 2016.
All of the proposed (JV)s still must be finalized and gain required regulatory approvals. The C919 modular avionics system provided by the planned (GEC)/(AVIC) joint venture "will be the central information system and backbone of the airplane's networks and electronics and will host the airplane's avionics, maintenance and utility functions," (GEC) said. "The system replaces dozens of traditional, standalone computers fitted to airplanes flying today, benefiting in weight savings, improved reliability and reduced operating cost."
(GE) Aviation (GEC) and its engine joint ventures, (CFM) International with Snecma and Engine Alliance with Pratt & Whitney (P&W), expect to deliver about 2,000 commercial jet engines in 2010, an increase of +3.6% over the 1,930 delivered in 2009, (GEC) said ahead of the Farnborough Airshow. Based on its current "record order book," it expects this to rise to 2,300 units in 2012. (CFM) will deliver >1,200 power plants annually in 2010, 2011 and 2012. (GE) Aviation (GEC) expects to deliver 700 (GEnx) engines powering the 787 and 747-8 to 28 customers by 2013. The Engine Alliance recently completed its 100 (GP7200) for the A380. The company's installed base, including joint venture products, will number 23,000 engines by year end, approximately 40% of which have not received their 1st major overhaul, reaching 30,000 in 2015.
(GE) Aviation (GEC) said Etihad Airways (EHD) finalized the purchase of 78 (GEnx-1B) engines to power its order for 35 787s announced during the Paris Air Show in 2009. The total value of the order is $1.8 billion with deliveries beginning in 2015. Additionally, Etihad (EHD) signed a 15-year "OnPoint solutions" agreement with (GEC) covering Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO). (GEC) said the agreement is worth >$2.5 billion over the life of the contract.
(GE) Aviation (GEC) valued the engine share of Emirates (EAD)’s order for 30 (GE90-115B)-powered 777-300ERs at $2 billion. The engine selection includes a 12-year "OnPoint solution" services agreement worth $1 billion, (GEC) said.
August 2010: (GE) Aviation (GEC) named John Gough, as leader of OnPoint Fuel & Carbon Solutions.
An American Airlines (AAL) 737NG became the 1st airplane in the USA to use a "publicly available, commercially designed instrument flight path" when it landed at Bradley International airport (BDL) in Hartford, Connecticut, according to Naverus, the (GE) Aviation (GEC) subsidiary that designed the path. Naverus received a Letter of Qualification from the USA (FAA) in September 2009 enabling it "to design and validate Required Navigation Performance (RNP) flight paths for public use in the USA." The (AAL) flight marked the 1st time a USA carrier used an (RNP) approach designed by a 3rd party for public use. All previous (RNP) approaches to USA airports were designed by the (FAA) in conjunction with carriers such as Southwest Airlines (SWA) and Alaska Airlines (ASA).
Naverus, which was acquired by (GEC) last November, said the new landing procedure at (BDL) "will enable airliners to land on Runway 15 during periods of low clouds and visibility that previously would have stopped them from landing there." Naverus General Manager, Steve Forte said the (AAL) 737NG flight "marks a significant milestone for the flying public by augmenting the means to develop and deploy airspace improvements in the USA that will translate to fewer delays, less air pollution and greater system reliability. We showed how 3rd party navigation providers, like (GEC), and airlines, like American (AAL), are helping accelerate these improvements."
November 2010: (GE) Aviation (GEC) and China's (HNA) Group, parent of Hainan Airlines (HNA), signed a Memo of Understanding (MOU) at the Zhuhai Air Show to form a Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) joint venture (JV) for (GE)'s (CF34-10A) and (CF-34-10E) engines for the (COMAC) (CCC) ARJ21 and Embraer E190/E195 regional jets, respectively. The facility will be located in Tianjin province and operated by the (HNA) Group "with technical support and materials from (GE)," (GEC) said.
December 2010: Airbus (EDS) has ended almost 12 months of speculation and applied the blowtorch to Boeing (TBC) by launching as an option the re-engine of the A320 family (but not the A318) with either the (CFM) International (LEAP-X) or Pratt & Whitney (P&W)'s PurePower (PW1100G) geared turbofan.
To be known as the "A320neo," the airplane will also come equipped with "sharklet" winglets currently offered as an option on new build A320 family airplanes. Airbus (EDS) said the A320neo will offer up to a -15% fuel saving and will be available for delivery from spring 2016. The aircraft will have over 95% airframe commonality with the standard A320 family, with the new engines requiring "limited modifications, primarily to the wing and pylon areas." (EDS) put the market potential at 4,000 A320neo family airplanes over the next 15 years.
In a statement, (CFM) International President & (CEO) Eric Bachelet said, "We are obviously honored to be part of this exciting program. This is a natural extension of the long and very successful relationship we have enjoyed with Airbus (EDS) since the inception of the A320 family program in the early 1980s." The (LEAP-X) is also being developed for the (COMAC) (CCC) C919.
January 2011: General Electric Aviation (GEC) receives the Air Transport World (ATW) magazine's "Aviation Technology" award.
SEE ATTACHED - "GEC-2011-01-ATW AVIATION TECHNOLOGY AWARD."
General Electric Aviation (GEC) is counting on a joint venture (JV) with Avic to propel (GEC) into the front ranks of avionics suppliers, just as its 50-50 partnership with France’s Snecma turned (CFM) International into a powerhouse engine maker. With Chinese President, Hu Jintao and USA Commerce Secretary Gary Locke looking on, (GE) Aviation (GEC) President & (CEO) David Joyce and Avic Senior VP Zhang Xinguo signed an agreement in Chicago to form a (JV) ((GE) - Avic Civil Avionics Systems Company Ltd) in Shanghai.
The partners say, “Market potential provides an estimated value” of $2 billion for the company, which was preliminarily agreed to in November 2009. The completion of that deal was timed as part of Hu’s state visit this month with President Obama.
Avic will nominate the Chairman and (GE) the General Manager of (GE) - Avic Avionics Systems. It will initially be located in the Zizhu Digital Hub Science Park in Shanghai until a permanent location is secured.
The (JV)’s 1st contract is to provide an integrated avionics suite
for the 160- to 190-seat (COMAC) C919, China’s single-aisle transport that will challenge the A320 and 737 families. It is to enter service in 2016 and will be powered by (CFM)’s (Leap-X) engine. But the larger intent is for the partners to turn their as-yet unnamed (JV) into a major avionics supplier for airplanes in any market.
At this stage, timing is fluid. The company expects to develop a certified product on or before 2014 to support the C919’s flight test schedule. Rate production would begin in 2015 to support the airplane’s service entry of 2016. But if upgrade systems are sold for use by other airplanes, production schedules could move up, a (GE) official said.
(GE) Aviation (GEC) is best known for its gas turbine engines, but its purchase of Smiths Aviation in 2007 signaled an intent to be as strong in commercial avionics. Smiths plays a major role on the 787 as the builder of the common core computing system, but its reputation is as an avionics supplier, not a prime manufacturer. (GE)’s purchase of Smiths was to build it up to become a prime contractor; its partnership with Avic is the means to that end. For Avic, teaming with (GE) is a means to the end of establishing the Chinese company’s importance in avionics manufacture.
The emphasis on civil projects is intended to get past USA export control regulations. The partnership is modeled after the (GE)-Snecma agreement in which each company supports its own investment in (CFMI) and fulfills specific work assignments for engines best known for powering A320s and 737s. (GE) also has joint ventures (JV)s with Honda in (GE) Honda Aero Engines for a business jet engine and Pratt & Whitney (PWC) in The Engine Alliance that produces powerplants for the A380. Meanwhile, avionics prime contractor Rockwell Collins has opened its China System Support Center in Shanghai for fundamental and advanced engineering, program management training, systems integration and avionics system consulting. Also a major C919 supplier, Rockwell Collins expects to expand its reach in China with the support center. The company is providing the 150-seat jet’s communication, navigation, surveillance, cabin management, in-flight entertainment and simulator components.
February 2011: GE Aviation (GEC) and Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) formed a 50/50 joint venture (JV) company, (GE) - (AVIC) Civil Avionics Systems Company Ltd, to develop and market integrated avionic systems for new airplane platforms. The (JV) company will be headquartered in China and will be the single route-to-market for integrated avionics systems for both (GE) and (AVIC) for new commercial airplanes. Also, (GE) and (AVIC) will each provide avionics products to the (JV) company as a customer and distributor, the companies said. The initial focus for the (JV) is integrated avionics systems for the C919, manufactured by Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, Ltd (COMAC) (CCC). (CCC) anticipates delivering >2300 C919 airplanes over the 20-year life of the program. This market potential provides an estimated value for the (AVIC) (GE) avionics systems of about $2 billion, according to (GE).
"(GE) is extremely pleased and excited to be a part of this unique aviation business. The (JV) will build on the extensive avionics capabilities of both companies and create a technology center of excellence to serve the commercial aviation market," said David Joyce (CEO) (GEC). "(GE)'s aviation business in China results in 1,800 high-technology jobs in the USA. The jobs are involved in producing and supporting jet engines for China, as well as developing the new engine and avionics system for the C919." "The (JV) will work to secure systems and other avionics products on future airplanes adding to the overall economic value and jobs created," said Lorraine Bolsinger President & (CEO) of (GE) Aviation Systems. "The (JV) and C919 program will support and maintain at least 300 high-tech jobs locally in each of the USA and China. This (JV) will challenge our team to come up with break-through technology. (GE) and (AVIC) will together develop a world-class engineering organization and the (JV) itself will be creating new (IP) and new technology. This is a 50/50 partnership; you have to be all in and be very committed."
(CFM) International named Jean-Paul Ebanga President & (CEO), succeeding Eric Bachelet, who is joining Safran as Executive VP Research & Technology. (CFM) is a 50/50 joint venture (JV) between (GE) Aviation (GEC) and Snecma, a unit of Safran.
Ebanga joined Snecma in 1988, and most recently served as Chairman & (CEO) of PowerJet, the engine (JV) between Snecma and Saturn (Russia), after serving as VP of Snecma’s Commercial Engine Division. “His assignments at Snecma have included leadership positions in electronics, systems and aircraft engines,” (CFM) said.
PowerJet named Jacques Desclaux to replace Ebanga as Chairman & (CEO). Desclaux joined Snecma in 1984 and most recently served as Executive VP at Europrop International, the European consortium responsible for the design, development and production of the Airbus (A400M) (TP400) turboprop engine.
Henry Hubschman, who led (GE) Capital Aviation Services (GEC) from 1997 1st as President & (CEO), and then as Chairman, died of cancer on February 9. He was 63. Under Hubschman's leadership, (GEC)'s airplane assets grew from $10 billion to $49 billion as the fleet reached 1,800 airplanes operated by nearly 250 airlines in >75 countries.
He joined (GE) in 1992 as General Counsel of its Engine division and retired at the end of 2010, having spent 12 years as President & (CEO) of (GEC) before assuming the chairmanship of the unit in 2009. Prior to joining (GE), Hubschman had a distinguished career in law and government, including serving as executive assistant to Housing and Urban Development Secretary, Patricia Roberts Harris from 1977 to 1979.
April 2011: (GE) Aviation (GEC) signed an agreement with Air Canada (ACN) for the provision of "myEngines." The solution's digital app suites help customers manage and access their engine data on smart phones, laptops and other computer systems, (GEC) said.
(GE) Aviation (GEC) announced the launch of the (CF6) TRUEngine program, awarding TRUEngine designation to Nippon Cargo (NCA)'s fleet of 43 (CF6-80C2)s powering its 747s. The TRUEngine status, which was launched for (CFM56)s in 2008 requires engine configuration, overhaul practices, spare parts and repairs to be consistent with (GEC) or (CFM) requirements.
May 2011: (GE) Aviation (GEC) Performance-based Navigation (PBN) Services business deployed the first public-use, Required Navigation Performance (RNP) procedure in Alaska at Deadhorse. The optimised instrument approach procedures will increase schedule reliability into Deadhorse, while reducing fuel burn, CO2 emissions and flight time.
The Deadhorse procedures became available for public use just 4 months after (GEC) submitted documentation to the (FAA) for processing, transmittal and publication. Last August, (GEC) became the 1st commercial 3rd-party to deploy a public instrument flight procedure in the USA.
Deadhorse is located >200 miles north of the Arctic Circle and is an important staging point for personnel and equipment bound for Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay and North Slope oil operations. The airport has approximately 189 arrivals per week, including commercial service, air taxi, and general aviation operations. However, due to inclement Arctic weather, it’s not uncommon for ground-based navigation aids to go out of service, causing flight delays and cancellations.
The (RNP) procedures, which will save qualified operators up to 4 track miles compared to existing (RNAV) arrival procedures, allow the use of on board technology to follow a precise path, independent of aging ground-based navigation beacons. When the ground-based system is out of service, the Deadhorse (RNP) procedures will enable qualified airplanes to land during low visibility weather conditions that previously would have prevented them from landing (on average, 26 days a year).
(RNP) procedures, an advanced form of (PBN), can be deployed at any airport, allowing airplanes to fly very precise paths with an accuracy of less than a wingspan. This precision allows pilots (FC) to land the airplane in weather conditions that would otherwise require them to hold, divert to another airport, or even cancel the flight before departure. In addition, since the procedures are very precise, they can be designed to shorten the distance an airplane has to fly en-route, and to reduce fuel burn, exhaust emissions and noise pollution in communities near airports. Because of (RNP)’s precision and reliability, the technology can help air traffic controllers to reduce flight delays and alleviate air traffic congestion.
June 2011: (GE) Aviation (GEC) has been selected to deploy a Required Navigation Performance (RNP) program at Jiuzhai Huanglong Airport in the Sichuan province of China. The cornerstone of the program is a network of (GE)-designed (RNP) paths that will improve access and maximise operational efficiency for airlines serving the airport. This significant contract marks the 1st airport-sponsored (RNP) program implementation in China.
(GE), in coordination with the airport and the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) (CAC), will design and deploy highly-precise approach and departure flight paths with custom-engineered vertical paths for each of the 8 (RNP)-capable airlines that operate to Jiuzhai. This will enable Jiuzhai Airport to provide a common (RNP) path for all airlines while giving each airline the best performance possible for their fleet-type. (GE) also will provide (RNP) operations approval support and validation for 2 launch airlines, Air China (BEJ) (A319) and China Eastern (CEA) (737-700), followed by operations approval and validation support for 6 subsequent airlines.
In total, (GE) will deploy (RNP) procedures and provide maintenance and support services for 8 airlines, operating 5 different airplane types from 3 airplane families at Jiuzhai.
Furthermore, (GE) will cooperate with the (CAAC) to support the local establishment of expertise through a package of tutoring and on-the-job training to qualified (CAAC) procedure design personnel to demonstrate effective methodologies for designing and validating flight procedures. (GE) also is working with the airport to identify terrain obstacles north of the airport that currently limit aircraft operations. The (RNP) program will solve limitations presented by the obstacle, improving accessibility for the eight operators.
"This joint undertaking marks a significant milestone in airspace modernization efforts in China," said Giovanni Spitale, General Manager for (GE)'s Performance Based Navigation (PBN) Services. "(GE) is proud to work with such forward-thinking organisations around the world that are working toward a common goal of improving airplane and air traffic management (ATM) operations."
Jiuzhai Airport, located at 11,311 feet/3,448 m in the Himalayan Mountains, is the 3rd highest airport in China. Delays and diversions are common at Jiuzhai due to inclement weather and poor visibility. (RNP) procedures can be deployed at any airport enabling airplanes to fly very precise paths with an accuracy of less than a wingspan. This precision allows pilots (FC) to land the airplane in weather conditions that would otherwise require them to hold, divert to another airport, or even cancel the flight before departure.
"In order to improve operational efficiencies at Jiuzhai, it was essential to be able to offer this solution to not just 1 airline that serves the airport, but to all the airlines," said Yang Hong Hai Director of Flight Operations Management Division (CAAC) Flight Standards Department. "We are confident that this (RNP) program will improve both airline operations and passengers experience when flying to and from Jiuzhai."
Chinese airlines and the (CAAC) are working with (GE) to deploy (PBN) solutions that align with China's (PBN) Implementation Roadmap. Since 2004, (GE)'s (PBN) Services has completed 16 (RNP) (AR) implementations for 4 Chinese airlines at 6 airports.
"Air China (BEJ) 1st began flying (GE)-designed (RNP) paths in 2005 at Lhasa to improve access to the airport," said Captain Chen Dongcheng Vice General Manager of Operations Quality & Management department of Air China (BEJ) Southwest branch. "Since then, we have deployed (RNP) with (GE) at 5 other Chinese airports, improving access, schedule performance and lowering fuel usage. We are pleased to now be able to take advantage of similar benefits at Jiuzhai."
"Our daily operations into Lhasa and Yushu have improved significantly since deploying (RNP) in 2009," said Captain Zhao Jinyu, VP of China Eastern Airlines (CEA). "It's crucial to our business and to the communities we serve to provide consistent, reliable flights and (RNP) helps ensure this is possible."
(RNP) procedures, an advanced form of (PBN) technology, are very precise flight paths that can be designed to shorten the distance an airplane has to fly en-route, and to reduce fuel burn, exhaust emissions and noise pollution in communities near airports. Because of (RNP)'s precision and reliability, the technology can help air traffic controllers reduce flight delays and alleviate air traffic congestion. (GE) has designed and deployed >345 (RNP) flight paths around the world since 2003.
September 2011: Embraer and GE Aviation (GEC) concluded a series of biofuel test flights in Brazil aboard a (CF34-8E)-powered E170. 1 of the airplane's 2 engines was powered by a 50/50 blend of camelina-derived hydroprocessed esters and fatty acids (HEFA) and Jet-A. (ASTM) International's committee on petroleum products and lubricants in June provisionally approved a new specification for hydroprocessed renewable jet fuels.
“This series of tests, and their very positive results, gives us a lot of new information to continue our sustainability program as it relates to future products,” Embraer Executive VP Engineering & Technology Mauro Kern said. The 2 companies “plan to engage in future biofuel testing and (ASTM) substantiation activities,” (GE) Aviation (GEC) (CMO) Laurent Rouaud said. “This could encompass a broad range of pursuits, from testing of additional fuel production pathways and feedstocks, to potentially increasing (HEFA) blend levels.”
(ICBC) Financial Leasing Company, a subsidiary of Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with (CFM) International for (CFM56-5B) engines to power its new fleet of 22 A320 family airplanes.
The firm order, which includes 3 spare engines, is worth >$450 million at USA list price, according to (CFMI). The Chinese leasing company is scheduled to take delivery of these airplanes in 2012.
(ICBC) Leasing signed a purchase agreement with Airbus (EDS) in June for 42 A320s.
All of the new engines will be the (CFM56-5B) Performance Improvement Package (PIP) configuration, with a +0.5% improvement in fuel burn and which is scheduled for certification and entry into service (EIS) by the end of 2011. The (PIP) has completed extensive ground testing and >26 hours of flight testing on the A320.
November 2011: (CFM) International said at the Dubai Airshow that Boeing (TBC) has selected its (Leap-1B) engine as the “exclusive powerplant” for its new family of re-engined 737 Max airplanes.
GE Aviation (GEC) and (CFM) International announced engine and service orders valued at >$13.8 billion at the Dubai Airshow.
Emirates (EAD) selected the (GE90-115B) the engine, with a 12-year OnPointSM maintenance agreement, to power its 50 777-300ERs with 20 options, in a deal valued at >$6 billion.
Garuda Indonesia (GIA) chose (CFM) International's advanced (Leap-1A) engines to power 10 new A320neos airplanes, and (CFM56-5B) engines to power 15 standard A320 airplanes, in orders valued at $490 million. (GIA) also finalized a long-term support agreement covering (GIA)’s fleet of the (CFM56-7B) engines powering 63 737-800 airplanes. The 15-year rate per flight hour contract is valued at $500 million.
Air China (BEJ) finalized its agreement to purchase 20 (GEnx-2B) engines, including a 15-year OnPointSM solution agreement, to power its 5 747-8Is.
Cathay Pacific Airways (CAT) signed a 15-year OnPointSM solution agreement with (GE) Aviation (GEC) covering the maintenance of the (GE90-115B) engine fleet for 4 777-300ER airplanes and 8 777-200Fs ordered in August, along with the 10 777-300ERs ordered in March.
Qatar Airways (QTA) selected the (GE90) engine to power the 2 777F freighters ordered at Dubai.
Egyptian carrier Petroleum Air Services ordered a (CF34-8) engine to power its CRJ900 airplanes.
Republic Airways Holdings (FRO) inked an OnPoint Fuel and Carbon Solutions agreement with (GE) to identify and track operational improvements to reduce (FRO)’s fuel spend by an average of -3%.
(GE) won a 15-year OnPoint solution $1 billion agreement with Cargolux (CLX) for the maintenance of its (GEnx-2B) engines powering its 13 747-8F freighters.
Lufthansa (DLH) selected (CFM56-5B) engines to power 4 new A320s in a firm engine order valued at $60 million.
December 2011: (GE) Aviation (GEC) announced that Southwest Airlines (SWA) ordered approximately $4.7 billion in engines for 208 airplanes that (SWA) ordered.
(GE) won orders for 300 (LEAP-1B) engines and 116 (CFM56-7B) engines as well. (GEC)’s facility in Jacksonville produces electronics for the (LEAP) engine and the new orders mean steadily increasing production rates at the plant for many years down the road.
The engines are scheduled to begin delivery in 2017.
(GE) Aviation’s (GEnx-1B) engine, which powers the 787, has been given the (FAA) 330-minute extended-range, twin-engine operations (ETOPS) approval.
The (FAA) approval confirms the engine has demonstrated the reliability to conduct (ETOPS) flights up to 330 minutes flying time from a primary or alternate airport, (GE) said.
The approval process included a 3,000-cycle ground endurance test in April.
The 1st (GEnx-2B)-powered 747-8F was delivered to Cargolux (CLX) in October. 5 more (GEnx-2B)-powered 747-8Fs have since been delivered.
Pratt & Whitney (P&W), which said it sees its future inextricably linked to the development of alternative fuel sources, has participated in the publishing of “The Path to Fuel Readiness," along with the rest of the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI) (R&D) committee made up of representatives from the (FAA), (GEC), (P&W), and Boeing (TBC).
(P&W) Manager Advanced Technology Stephen Kramer told attendees at the (CAAFI) Expo in Washington that the document was prepared following a meeting of the (R&D) team in February, when “confusion” and “lack of direction” was among audience feedback on what was needed for the certification step.
January 2012: (CFM) International closed out 2011 as a record year, logging orders for a total 1,500 commercial, military and spare (CFM56) engines, plus commitments for 3,056 (Leap) engines, including for the A320neo, the 737 MAX and the (COMAC) (CCC) C919.
The 4,556 engines have a total combined value of approximately $51.7 billion at list prices. The company said in “the next couple of months” it expects additional A320neo, 737 MAX and C919 announcements.
(CFM) International President & (CEO) Jean-Paul Ebanga said "2011 was an outstanding year for (CFM) across the board. By year end, we had solid orders for 1,500 (CFM56) engines, which would make 2011 a good year in its own right. But we also received a significant number of (Leap) orders in the last 6 months of the year."
(CFM) delivered >1,300 engines in 2011, up +4% over the 1,250 built in 2010, and said it expects to reach a production rate of >1,600 engines per year by 2014. During 2011, it grabbed a 66% share of A320 orders, with a total 394 (CFM56-5B) engine orders and a 53% share of the 465 A320neo orders.
February 2012: (LAN) Airlines flew Latin America's 1st continuously guided flight from takeoff to landing using Performance-based Navigation (PBN) technology. The (PBN) flight plan between Cusco and Lima, designed by (GE) Aviation (GEC), is part of the "Green Skies of Peru" project, a collaborative effort among (LAN)/(LPU), (GE) Peru's air navigation service provider (CORPAC) and regulator (DGAC).
According to (GEC), deploying a continuous (PBN) city pair flight path creates additional predictability and continuity throughout the entire flight, compared to a single (PBN) arrival or departure path, while solving operational challenges at the individual airports.
The (PBN) departure, en-route, arrival and approach procedures will save participating airlines on average 19 track miles, 6.3 minutes, 450 pounds of fuel and 1,420 pounds of CO2 emissions per flight, and will enable increased capacity at Lima's Jorge Chavez International Airport, (GEC) said. “Operational excellence, passenger service and environmental protection are the pillars of our sustainability strategy, as reflected in this initiative,” said Jorge Vilches, (CEO) of LAN Peru (LPU). “At (LPU), we have made a great effort to properly train our pilots (FC), to equip our A319/320 airplanes with state-of-the-art technology, to obtain (DGAC) certification for these types of operations, and to design and deploy these highly specialized procedures in collaboration with (GEC). This is, undoubtedly, big news for our country, and will be of great benefit to all our passengers.”
A formal trial will commence allowing the team to validate the benefits and the paths under various operating conditions and finalize the deployment plan.
In 2009, (GEC), in collaboration with (IATA) (ITA), designed and deployed Required Navigation Performance (RNP) approach procedures for (LAN)/(LPU) at Cusco to improve access into the airport that is flanked by the Andes Mountains. Prior to the (RNP) paths, it was typical for one or more of (LPU)'s 15 - 21 scheduled flights per day into Cusco to be delayed or diverted due to poor weather and low visibility. Since the (RNP) paths have been in use at Cusco, (GEC) said (LPU) has reduced cancellations from 12 to five, flight delays by -45% and un-stabilized approaches by -94%, per month on average. During the first year of (RNP) use at Cusco, more than >30,000 of (LPU)´s passengers avoided flight cancellations or delays.
April 2012: Kenya Airways (KEN) has selected the (GE) Aviation (GEC) (GEnx-1B) engine to power its 787-8s. (KEN) has nine firm 787-8s on order, plus four options for four additional airplanes. The firm engine order is valued at $380 million at list prices, (GEC) said.
Airlines can select between the (GEnx) and the Roll-Royce (RRC) (Trent 1000) for the 787.
(KEN)’s 787s are scheduled to start delivery in the fourth quarter of 2013.
"The 787 Dreamliner is expected to achieve between 15% to 17% fuel efficiency over the 767 with this particular engine type. This will enable the 787 to fly further with more passengers and cargo than the 767," (KEN) Group Managing Director & (CEO), Titus Naikuni said.
June 2012: The first two operators of the 787-8 are seeing better-than-anticipated fuel burn, despite prior expectations of below-par performance as a result of data from predelivery flight tests.
The numbers, though based on early experience with a relatively small fleet on a variety of routes, are surprisingly positive given the early configuration of the airframes and engines. The operators have not yet incorporated all the planned weight and fuel burn improvements of follow-on production versions.
Four of the current active 787 fleet are from an early production block in which each is thought to be around 8,800 lbs over specification weight, while the remainder are lighter airplanes built from the block point change introduced from line No 34.
Boeing (TBC), which is expected to comment officially on the 787’s in-service fuel burn numbers at the Farnborough air show next month, is in the midst of introducing weight reductions and other enhancements to compensate for what was expected to be a relatively significant shortfall in the planned +20% improvement over the 767.
Yet figures from launch airline All Nippon Airways (ANA) show fuel savings are up to -21% on long-range flights, while figures for the General Electric (GEnx-1B)-powered airplanes at Japan Airlines (JAL) indicate potentially slightly better numbers.
(GEC) says initial performance data show its (GEnx-1B) engine has a 2% fuel burn advantage over the competing Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent 1000), not counting an additional 1% benefit from expected performance retention in terms of sustained exhaust gas temperature margin. The first (GEnx-1B)s are in service with (JAL), while 787 launch operator (ANA) uses 787s powered by the (Trent 1000).
(ANA) earlier this month was the first to reveal that its airplanes were producing around -21% lower fuel burn on international flights compared to the 767-300ER that the 787 is designed to replace.
(ANA), which accepted its ninth 787 on June 24, is believed to have been anticipating a -17 to -19% improvement, based on the (Trent 1000) Package B that Rolls (RRC) introduced to counter some deficiencies seen in flight testing.
After its first six months of service, (ANA) says the 787 efficiency levels are slightly up on the -20% savings originally expected at the beginning of the program. On domestic routes, the saving is -15 to -20%, which meets expectations, say (ANA) officials. The short-haul sub-fleet includes four early delivery 787S powered by the interim (Trent 1000) Package A standard engine. (ANA)’s long-haul configured 787s operate between Tokyo Haneda Airport and Frankfurt Airport, with additional transpacific routes from Tokyo Narita International Airport to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and Norman Y Mineta San Jose International Airport in California due to be launched by early 2013.
July 2012: AirAsia (ASW) has selected GE Aviation (GEC) to design and deploy a network of (ICAO) Required Navigation Performance Authorization Required (RNP AR) flight paths.
The program will include (RNP AR) approach paths for 15 Malaysian airports. “The highly precise paths will improve (ASW)’s operating efficiencies by reducing track miles and fuel burn while also providing airplanes with precise lateral and vertical arrival and missed approach guidance.”
Under the agreement, (GEC) will design, deploy, validate and maintain precise (RNP) procedures optimized for (ASW)’s A320 fleet.
Work is underway at the first two airports, Kuching and Penang.
GE Aviation (GEC) signed a 15-year OnPoint solution agreement with Copa Airlines (COP) for the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) of 112 (CFM56-7B) engines powering its 737-700 and 737-800 airplanes.
(GE) Aviation (GEC) booked an order from Air Berlin (BER) to supply (GEnx-1B)s for 15 787-8s on order in a deal valued at more than >$1.2 billion that includes as OnPoint solution support agreement.
(GE) Aviation (GEC) has a 15 year, $600 million contract with Azul (AZL) to maintain 42 (CFM34-10E)s for its EMB-190s under its OnPoint solutions program.
GE Aviation (GEC) announced that they signed an agreement with The Boeing Company (TBC) potentially worth up to $180 million to provide the mission control system for the US Air Force’s KC-46A tanker. The agreement includes design, development and production throughout the life of the program.
“We are committed to bringing our next-generation technologies to this new tanker platform,” said Lorraine Bolsinger, President & (CEO) of (GE) Aviation Systems. “These systems will enable the airplane to perform with navigation precision not currently available to the tanker fleet and will help enable efficient operations in our future airspace.”
(GE) Aviation (GEC) was selected for the mission control system including the flight management system (FMS). The (FMS) provides the ability to fly shorter flight paths and idle-thrust descents which reduce fuel consumption, while lowering emissions and reducing community noise impact. (GE)’s mission control system will provide the integrated communications management function to support air traffic management (ATM) data link, including the first implementation of the Aeronautical Telecommunications Network on a (USA) (DoD) air vehicle to facilitate efficient operations in the future NextGen airspace infrastructure.
Software and hardware updates provide the latest technology to continue to meet the needs of the world’s evolving airspace, offering safe and efficient improvements to airplane operations. (GE)’s optimized descent flight management system is an ecomagination product.
Boeing (TBC) will build up to 179 next-generation aerial refueling tanker airplanes that will begin to replace the Air Force’s fleet of 416 KC-135 tankers. To learn more about the KC-46A Tanker, visit http://www.UnitedStatesTanker.com.
August 2012: INCDT: A fan shaft fracture was the cause of a contained engine failure on a 787 during a pre-delivery taxi test, the USA (NTSB) has determined.
The incident happened July 28 at Charleston Airport, South Carolina. The (GE) Aviation (GEC) (GEnx) engine was removed and taken to a (GEC) facility in Cincinnati, Ohio, where it was disassembled for an investigation led by (NTSB) Investigator-in-charge, David Henson.
The (NTSB) said, “As a result of the investigative work to date, the (NTSB) has determined that a fan mid-shaft on the failed (GEnx) engine fractured at the forward end of the shaft, rear of the threads where the retaining nut is installed. The fan mid-shaft is undergoing several detailed examinations including dimensional and metallurgical inspections.”
Having determined what caused the contained failure, the investigation is now focused on what led to the fracture. The (GEnx) is a dual shaft engine, meaning that one shaft connects the compressor spool at one end to the high pressure turbine spool at the other end. The fan shaft connects the fan and booster in the front of the engine to the low pressure turbine in the back.
Investigators will continue the detailed examination of the engine and metallurgical analysis of its components and have also begun reviewing the engine manufacturing and assembly records, the (NTSB) said.
According to (GEC), this type of fracture is not unknown, but is extremely rare. In 10 years, there have been only six instances across all operating engines and 600 million flight hours.
The (FAA), Boeing (TBC) and (GEC) experts are all assisting the investigation. So far, there seems to be no safety implications for the installed fleet.
September 2012: INCDT: USA airplane safety investigators have called for grounding certain Boeing (TBC) 787s and 747-8s powered by General Electric (GEC) engines until they are inspected for cracks and also revealed that a cracked fan midshaft was discovered on a third engine last month.
The recommendations issued by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) offer the clearest explanation yet for the rash of zero- or low-time (GEnx) engine failures since 28 July.
The (NTSB) letter sent to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) also reveals that an analysis of the fan midshaft fractures do not point to metal fatigue as a likely cause. The fan midshaft connects the low pressure turbine to the fan and booster stages at the forward end of the engine.
Instead, the cracks in the critical engine component are "typical of environmentally assisted cracking of certain high strength alloys such as that used on the (GEnx) [fan midshaft]", the (NTSB) letter says. The (NTSB) is continuing to investigate what is triggering the environmentally assisted cracking. According to (GEC), such metals crack as a result of galvanic corrosion caused by a moist environment with the presence of hydrogen.
A potential trigger of the galvanic corrosion could have been revealed earlier. (GEC) said it has changed the coating process for the fan midshaft on the production line as a result of the engine failures. (GEC) says that the new coating process changes the dry film applied to the midshaft, and replaces the lubricant used when a retaining nut is clamped to the midshaft.
The (NTSB)'s letter to the (FAA) indicates all three engine failures discovered to date could be linked to the same cause.
The latest engine failure to be revealed actually was discovered during an ultrasound inspection on 13 August, but it was not disclosed to the public until now. The ultrasound check on the engine, which was installed on a 787 that had not been flown, revealed an indication of a "similar" crack on the fan midshaft.
The first such incident occurred on 28 July. An engine on an Air India (AIN) 787 in Charleston, South Carolina, failed in a low-speed taxi test. The flight crew (FC) was accelerating the 787 through 40 kt when the low-pressure speed rolled back on the No 2 engine. The flight crew (FC) aborted the test and a visual inspection revealed the first stage of the low pressure turbine had shifted backward, colliding into trailing stages.
Six weeks later, a 747-8F operated by AirBridgeCargo (ABC) with about 1,200 flight hours and 240 cycles, experienced a similar problem. As the airplane accelerated through 50 kt, the low-pressure turbine speed of the No 1 engine dropped. The flight crew (FC) rejected the take-off and an inspection revealed "extensive damage" to the low pressure turbine.
The (NTSB) highlighted the potential safety danger of repeated failures on low-time engines. The (NTSB)'s letter highlighted the "possibility that multiple engines on the same airplane could experience a [fan midshaft] failure".
In the event of an extended twin-engine flight over water, for example, the airplane would have to operate on only a single engine for up to 5.5 hrs, the (NTSB) letter says.
In response, (GEC) says that it has already recommended repetitive inspections to the (FAA) and is close to completing ultrasonic inspections of the fan midshaft for all (GEnx) engines in service.
Boeing (TBC) adds that is working with (GEC) to inspect nine 747-8Fs within a "few days" to complete ultrasound inspections on the operational (GEnx) fleet.
No cracks were found on a 747-8F freighter GE Aviation GEnx-2B engine that experienced a power loss during takeoff roll at Shanghai Pudong International Airport, preliminary investigations show.
In an updated statement later on the continuing investigation into a separate incident involving a (GEnx-1B) engine on a 787, the USA (NTSB) confirmed it was participating in the 747-8F investigation, which is being led by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) (CAC). The 747-8F freighter was operated by AirbridgeCargo (ABC) and the incident occurred on September 11.
Attention has turned to the (GEnx)’s fan midshaft (FMS) after cracks were discovered on two (GEnx-1B) engines, but the cause of the fracture is still being established.
Examination of other pre-delivery engines revealed a second (GEnx-1B) engine with a cracked (FMS) that was installed on a 787-8 airplane that had not yet flown.
As part the (CAAC)’s investigation and in relation to the (NTSB)’s ongoing investigation of the July 28 engine failure, preliminary findings from the examination of the Shanghai incident engine revealed the (FMS) was intact and showed no indications of cracking. The examination and teardown of that engine is continuing under the direction of the (CAAC).
The USA (FAA) issued an airworthiness directive (AD) on all (GEnx) engines in light of the incidents. The (AD) requires initial and repetitive ultrasonic inspections of a particular part number (FMS). “We are issuing this (AD) to prevent failure of the (FMS) resulting in one or more engine failure(s) and possible loss of the airplane,” the (FAA) said.
The (AD) requires the (GEnx) (FMS)s be re-inspected at intervals of not more than 90 days.
The General Electric Company (GE) and the USA National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) (NAS) have launched an 18-month project to bring NextGen air traffic management (ATM) technology into “The Cloud.”
Announcing the project, (GE) said: “Cloud computing will enable airlines and air traffic controllers to perform their tasks by sharing not only real-time information but also data analysis and decision support tools to improve airplane operations and airspace efficiency.” Cloud computing allows a user to tap into a remote location, where data storage and computational capabilities are virtually limitless. It already is revolutionizing how information storage and business operations are managed, but has been slow to progress in the aviation sector, especially in safety critical areas such as (ATM).
Commercial airlines are starting to replace their data centers with cloud computing, saving millions of dollars in capital and maintenance costs, and the (GE)/(NASA) project will identify opportunities within (ATM) that can benefit from cloud computing.
(GE) Global Research electrical engineer and project leader, Liling Ren explained: “Cloud computing has the potential to fundamentally change how air traffic management (ATM) operates today. With the transition to it, airlines, pilots (FC) and air traffic controllers will be able to achieve increased information exchange, sharing of decision support automation capabilities that tell them more accurately and reliably about an airplane’s current position and future flight path. This will enable them to improve traffic flow and plan more preferable routes and altitudes, which ultimately means more predictable and efficient travel that is on-time for passengers.”
A key objective of the project is to explore how air traffic controllers, airlines and airplanes could interact more efficiently in a cloud computing environment. (ATM) functionalities and capabilities are currently developed and hosted separately by each of these entities. (GE) expects the project to help accelerate the transition of NextGen (ATM) technology, which traditionally takes years to complete. (GE) researchers would combine the company’s growing capabilities in software with its embedded experience in aviation and avionics to revolutionize (ATM), the company said.
October 2012: GE Aviation (GEC) issued a service bulletin this month calling for one-time fleet-wide borescope inspections of the low-pressure turbine (LPT) stage-one nozzles on all 120 in-service (GEnx) engines.
The approximately one hour-long inspection should ensure the nozzles are properly installed, (GEC) said. The (LPT) nozzle directs air into the rotating (LPT) blade. The bulletin follows the September 11 incident in which an Air Bridge Cargo (ABC) 747-8F powered by a (GEnx) engine powering lost thrust during takeoff in Shanghai.
“Some operators have already begun inspecting their (GEnx) fleet with no issues discovered,” (GEC) said. “The service bulletin does not call for repeated inspections.”
(GEC) also announced it has completed ultrasonic inspections of the fan shaft of all in-service (GEnx) engines powering 787s and 747-8s “with no findings,” following the July (GEnx) fan shaft fracture during a 787 ground test run in Charleston, South Carolina.
“An airworthiness directive (AD) from the (FAA) calls for 90-day repetitive inspections of identified (GEnx) fan mid-shaft part numbers, following recommendations (GEC) had made to the (FAA),” (GEC) said. “(GEC) expects the inspections to be conducted without disrupting service of (GEnx) operators. These inspections, conducted with an ultrasonic sensing probe, can be performed while the engine remains on wing. The inspection takes about two to three hours to complete.”
(GEC) said the failure of an airplane engine on a 747-8 in Shanghai was caused by an assembly error, adding a second source of concern about (GEC)'s newest engine.
Lufthansa Technik (DLH) (LTK) and (GEC) signed a long-term comprehensive material service agreement for (CF6-80C2) and (CF34-3, -8 and -10) engines.
The deal encourages (DLH) (LTK) to use more Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts and material. It also provides (DLH) (LTK) with intellectual property technology transfer so the companies can jointly develop repairs. This means the repairs developed by (DLH) (LTK) will be (OEM), opposed to Designated Engineering Representative (DER), approved.
Brian Ovington, (GEC)’s Director Marketing, says this cooperative agreement should help both parties lower the total cost of ownership for these engines. He also said that (DLH)/(LTK) has an “active pipeline of repairs” in development for these engines.
The Aviation Corporation of China (AVIC) (part of (COMAC) (CCC) and (GE) Aviation (GEC) have formally launched a Shanghai-based integrated avionics joint venture (JV) “to develop and market the new generation of avionics systems with an immediate priority on supporting development of China’s first home-grown big passenger jet” the C919.
The 50/50 (JV), named (GE) - (AVIC) Civil Avionics Systems Company, has won orders for its avionics systems from C919 manufacturer, the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC), which plans to deliver more than >2,300 C919 airplanes over the 20-year life of the program. This market potential is valued at $2 billion for the (JV), (GEC) said.
November 2012: Turkish Airlines (THY) has done a deal with (GE) Aviation (GEC) to provide engines for its new A330-300s and 777-300ERs. A $1.4 billion contract covers (GE90-115B)s to power the 777-300ERs and a long-term "OnPoint" maintenance agreement. (THY) in October ordered 15 777-300ERs with options for an additional five, scheduled for delivery beginning in 2014. The (GE90) is the only engine available for the 777-300ER.
A separate $1 billion deal covers (CF6-80E) engines to power the 15 A330-300s that (THY) also ordered in October. The (CF6) deal includes a 12-year OnPoint maintenance agreement.
A330-300 customers can choose between (GE), Pratt & Whitney (PRW) or Rolls-Royce (RRC) engines.
(GE) Aviation (GEC) has acquired the assets of Ohio-based, Morris Technologies and its sister company, Rapid Quality Manufacturing.
The privately-held companies specialize in additive manufacturing, a technology (GEC) called a “new star” in its portfolio. Both have supplied parts to (GEC) for several years, and have been contracted to produce components for the (LEAP) engine, (GEC) said.
The acquisition is part of a (GEC) effort to expand its Engineering and Manufacturing capabilities to meet increased jet engine production rates over the next five years; it also plans to open two new USA-based production plants in 2013.
“Morris Technologies and Rapid Quality Manufacturing are parts of our investment in emerging manufacturing technologies,” (GEC) VP & General Manager Supply Chain, Colleen Athans said. “Our ability to develop state of the art manufacturing processes for emerging materials and complex design geometry is critical to our future.”
Additive manufacturing takes digital designs and creates a component or prototype by laying horizontal cross-sections using a laser beam to melt the raw material, resulting in lighter parts and less scrap material.
December 2012: General Electric (GE), parent of (GE) Aviation (GEC), has agreed to purchase Italian aerospace company Avio for $4.3 billion. The deal is subject to regulatory and governmental approvals. Turin-based, Avio manufactures aviation propulsion components and systems for civil and military airplanes. (GE) will not be purchasing Avio’s space unit.
(GE) plans to acquire Avio’s aviation interests from Cinven, the European private equity firm that has owned Avio since 2006, and Finmeccanica, Italy’s largest aerospace group.
Avio provides low-pressure turbine systems, accessory gearboxes, geared systems, combustors and other components. In 2011, it reported aviation sector revenues of €1.7 billion/$2.4 billion, most of it coming from components for (GE) and (GE) joint venture engines, including the (GE90) and (GEnx) turbofans.
(GE) Aviation (GEC) President & (CEO), David Joyce said (GE) plans to expand Avio’s areas of interest beyond the aviation sector, noting opportunities in power-generation, oil and marine products.
Avio (CEO), Francesco Caio said the deal “lays the foundation for the next phase of development for our company and will enable our teams and plants to become centers of excellence in transmissions and turbines for one of the leading companies in this field.”
(BAE) Systems, (FADEC) International and (GEC) have formed the (FADEC) Alliance to develop, produce and support the full-authority digital electronic control (FADEC) for airplane engines and related specialized technologies. It will be the exclusive (FADEC) supplier for (CFM) International's next generation engine, (LEAP) and (GEC)'s Passport engine.
January 2013: Engine manufacturers will be busy in 2013 as testing accelerates on the latest commercial turbofans and work advances on the next generation of military powerplants. Production will rise, but more significantly on the commercial side than the military.
The pace is highest at (CFM) and Pratt & Whitney (PRW) as they battle for the single-aisle airliner market with the (Leap-1) and (PW1000G), respectively. While the 2011 and 2012 order levels are unlikely to be sustained in 2013, it will see vital tests for both engines.
Even though they compete head-to-head only on the A320NEO, each powers airliner families competing in the narrow body market, ranging from the 737 MAX and Comac (CCC) C919 (both using the Leap) to the Irkut MS-21 (PW1400G) and Bombardier (BMB) CSeries (PW1500G). Overall, General Electric (GE)/Safran joint company (CFM) has logged orders and commitments for more than >4,350 engines across the three models, 1,192 of them (Leap-1A)s for the NEO. Pratt (PRW) has orders and commitments for almost 3,000 engines, of which close to 1,140 are for the new Airbus twin.
Pratt (PRW) began ground tests of the (PW1100G) for the NEO in November 2012 and aims to bolster its market position through its new role as the leading shareholder in International Aero Engines (IAE), maker of the (V2500) engine powering today’s A320 family. Under an arrangement finalized in mid-2012, Pratt (PRW) acquired Rolls-Royce (RRC)’s 32.5% stake in (IAE), while (MTU) Aero Engines’ share grew to 16% and Japanese Aero Engines retained its 23%. Pratt (PRW) and Rolls (RRC), meanwhile, have longer-term plans to form a joint company to develop new engines for the next generation of mid-size airplanes.
The first of the geared turbofans to enter service, the CSeries will use the (PW1500G) on its first flight in mid-2013 and service entry in mid-2014. The (PW1200G) will power the first Mitsubishi Regional Jet in late 2013, while the first (PW1100G) for the NEO will be certified in the third quarter of 2014, to enter service in October 2015.
(CFM)’s (Leap-1) is expected begin ground runs by the end of September 2013. Although the (Leap-1A and -1C) run parallel for much of the time because of their commonality, the first to fly on (GEC)’s Boeing 747 testbed will be the (Leap-1C) engine for the C919, in April 2014. Engine certification is expected in March 2015, and service entry in the second quarter of 2016. The NEO engine is scheduled to fly in September 2014. First flight on the A320NEO is due around the third quarter of 2015, with entry into service (EIS) the following year.
Developments in large commercial turbofans for 2013 will focus on: Rolls-Royce (RRC)’s (Trent XWB), when it powers the first Airbus A350-900 flight around mid-year; progress on upgrading (GEC) and Rolls (RRC) engines for the 787; and production ramp-up to support increased wide body assembly rates at Airbus (EDS) and Boeing (TBC). The greatest uncertainty in the big-fan business, which may be resolved by year-end, is whether Boeing (TBC) will offer its proposed 777X derivative with a choice of engines.
(GEC) is increasing production of the (GE90-115B) to 200 engines a year to support Boeing’s 777 build rate, and it expects to run the first version of a new core for its proposed 777X engine, the (GE9X), as early as 2014. The final design freeze is likely around 2015, with the first engine going into testing in the 2016 time frame. Rolls (RRC) is offering the (RB3025), targeting a fuel burn more than >-10% lower than the (GE90-115B). This would be the first large Rolls (RRC) engine to incorporate composite fan blades and casing. Ground tests of scaled blades are set for 2013 on a (Trent 1000).
As well as developing upgrades for the (Trent 500, 700, 800 and 900) engines, Rolls (RRC) is preparing to test the "Package C" enhancements to the (Trent 1000), the lead engine for the stretched 787-9. Certification is planned for mid-2013, when flight tests will also start on the 787-8, followed by trials on the 787-9. Deliveries of "Package C"-powered 787-9s will begin early in 2014, with 787-8 deliveries commencing in mid-2014. Rolls (RRC) is also preparing for (Trent XWB) production rates of one engine a day eventually. The powerplant, the biggest Rolls (RRC) has produced, cleared its final certification hurdles at the end of 2012.
(GEC) and Boeing (TBC) are starting flight tests of the (GEnx-1B PIP II) upgrade which, from the third quarter of 2013, will be the production standard for the 787 line. Flight tests of the (GEnx-2B PIP) for the 747-8 are to begin on (GEC)’s testbed in early 2013. Production of (GEnx) engines is ramping up, with 200 due for delivery in 2013 and 300 in 2014.
With the supply chain expanding to support commercial-engine production increases, attention will focus in 2013 on changes in second- and third-tier manufacturers. In 2012, (GKN) Aerospace acquired Volvo Aero in a $1.05 billion deal that makes (GKN) the No 3 supplier of engine components, after Avio and (MTU). But this balance may shift again now that (GEC) has acquired Avio.
(GE) Aviation (GEC) has formed a joint venture (JV) with investment casting company SeaCast to produce jet engine components.
The 50/50 (JV), called Montana Precision Products, will be located at SeaCast’s facility in Butte, Montana. SeaCast produces castings and specialty components for a variety of industries. “The joint venture in Butte will produce tubes, ducts and small structural castings for (GE) jet engines,” the companies said.
(GE) said the (JV) will buttress its global supply chain as “engine production rates continue to rise.” SeaCast already was a supplier for (GE), producing tubes and ducts for the (GE90) and (GEnx) powerplants. “Both (GEC) and SeaCast will invest in the Butte facility in order to handle higher volume. The Butte operation currently has about 70 employees and is expected to grow over the next four years.”
(GEC) VP & General Manager Supply Chain division, Colleen Athans said the (JV) “will provide much needed additional capacity.” SeaCast was founded in Seattle in 1985.
(GEC) did not say how much it is investing in the (JV).
February 2013: Engine Alliance has selected Dean Athans from (GE)’s Power & Water Aero Derivatives business to succeed President, Mary Ellen Jones. Jones has served as President of the GE Aviation (GEC)/Pratt & Whitney (PRW) joint venture (JV) since November 2009 and will now return to a senior leadership position at Pratt (PRW).
Prior to her appointment, Jones led Pratt (PRW)'s Commercial Engines & Global Services Marketing Division.
With 15 years experience in GE Aviation (GEC)’s Commercial Engines Operation, Athans has held leadership roles in Customer Support Operations and Product Support Engineering. He also served as the product leader for the (CF34) engine and most recently as head of the (LMS100) power turbine product line.
March 2013: Boeing (TBC) has selected (GE) Aviation (GEC) as the engine partner for its 777X development program. (TBC) said the next generation 777 is moving closer to be being formally launched. The 777X is expected to enter service near the end of the decade.
“This decision to work with (GEC) going forward reflects the best match to the development program, schedule and airplane performance,” Boeing Commercial Airplanes VP & General Manager 777X Development, Bob Feldmann said. “We are studying airplane improvements that will extend today’s 777 efficiencies and reliability for the next two decades or longer, and the engines are a significant part of that effort.”
(GEC) said that its study of a prospective 777X engine, called the (GE9X), “has been underway for several years. The study is focused on an engine in the 100,000 lbs thrust class and will offer a +10% fuel burn improvement over today’s (GE90) engines.”
It said key features of the (GE9X) will include a 132-inch diameter composite fan case, fourth generation composite fan blades, a 27:1 pressure ratio high pressure compressor, a third-generation twin annular pre-swirl (TAPS) combustor, and ceramic matrix composite material in the combustor and turbine. As part of its ongoing study on the engine, (GEC) said a high pressure compressor test rig is scheduled to run this summer in Italy.
(TBC) noted development work on the 777X has included consultations with current 777 customers from around the world. “We have had strong and productive engagement with a broad set of customers in the marketplace to understand their future needs,” Feldmann said. “We are aggressively moving forward on our plan and will continue to refine requirements with customers.”
China Aircraft Leasing Company (CALC) (CHD) chose (CFM56-5B) engines to power 25 new Airbus A320 airplanes. The firm order is valued at $500 million at list prices with deliveries scheduled from 2014 - 2016. “We believe that forming this strategic partnership with (CFM) will be instrumental in helping us expand our business globally,” (CHD) (CEO), Mike Poon said.
The 25 A320s are part of a previously announced order for 36 A320 family airplanes in July 2012. They will initially be placed with Chinese lessees, though (CALC) (CHD) noted it intends to expand into the rest of Asia and build a presence in Europe and the USA.
(CFM) International said its (CFM56-5B) has been chosen to power nearly 60% of all A320 airplanes in service or on order. Two engines are available for A320 airplanes; the (CFM56) and the (IAE) (V2500).
Panama-based, AviancaTaca (AVI)/(TAC) Holdings announced that is has selected the advanced technology (LEAP-1A) engines to power 33 A320neo family airplanes, in addition to ordering (CFM56-5B) engines to power an additional 18 A320ceo family airplanes. (AVI)/(TAC) has also opted for a comprehensive engine maintenance service package. The agreement has a total combined value of $2.7 billion at list price.
AviancaTaca (AVI)/(TAC) also signed a 15-year, Rate per Flight Hour (RPFH)) agreement to support both the new (CFM56) and (LEAP) engine fleets under which (CFM) will guarantee maintenance costs on a dollar per engine flight hour basis.
Deliveries of the A320ceos are scheduled between 2014 and 2016, while the A320neos will be delivered in the 2017 to 2019 timeframe. The airplanes were originally announced in June 2011.
Avianca (AVI) has been a (CFM) customer since 2006 and currently operates a fleet of 66 (CFM56-5B)-powered A320 family airplanes. The airline merged with TACA (TAC) in 2010 to create one of the largest carriers in Latin America, transporting more than >30 million passengers in 2012. The new airplanes will be used for both fleet renewal and growth.
(LEAP) and (CFM56-5B) engines are products of (CFM) International, a 50/50 joint company between Snecma (Safran) and (GEC). (CFM), the world’s leading supplier of commercial airplane engines, has delivered nearly 25,000 engines to date. The (LEAP-1A) has been selected to power more than >50% of all A320neo orders to date for which an engine selection has been announced. The (CFM56-5B) engine powers every model of the A320 family and has been chosen to power nearly 60% of all A320 airplanes in service or on order.
(GE) Aviation (GEC) has delivered its initial production wing fixed trailing edge components for the Airbus A350 XWB MSN001. “This delivery start up results from major achievements at (GEC) in design and manufacturing: bringing together new tool sets, materials and technologies, while also involving concurrent engineering with global suppliers to obtain material and long-lead items in unprecedented timescales,” said Steve Walters, (GEC) Aerostructures & Nacelles Executive Product Leader.
(GEC) will provide the wing fixed trailing edge for all three A350 WXB airplanes; the A350-800, A350-900 and A350-1000, producing the components at its Hamble-le-Rice factory in Southampton, Hampshire, UK. It plans enhancements to the facility with the addition of a composites facility dedicated to the Airbus (EDS) program.
Though the facility is still in its early stages, GE Aviation (GEC) anticipates it will be completed toward the end of 2014.
April 2013: General Electric (GEC) expects to clinch certification for the upgraded 787 engine within weeks, and it is midway through initial flight tests of the improved sister (GEnx-2B) engine for the Boeing 747-8.
It has been a long road, but seven years after the first run of the (GEnx-1B) engine for the 787, and five years after the (GEnx-2B) was powered up for the first time, (GEC) is entering the home stretch in development of what it hopes will be two engines that are either at or above specification.
Boeing (TBC) and (GEC) originally planned to run the individual performance improvement package (PIP) tests sequentially, but just as with the development of the original engine standard, delays to the 787 program mean the two efforts are occurring virtually simultaneously. Flight tests of the upgraded (GEnx-1B) PIP II for the 787 are set to resume after a four-month hiatus caused by the grounding of the 787 due to the battery failures.
Flight testing of the improved (GEnx-2B) PIP for the 747-8, leveraging upgrades made to the 787 engine, have been underway on (GEC)'s 747 flying testbed since February. (GEC) is about to ship the third of four flight-test engines to Boeing (TBC) as part of plans to evaluate the PIP standard on a 747-8 within the next few months.
The (GEnx-1B) PIP II package was designed to bring the performance of the engine up to the original fuel-burn specification following the discovery that the baseline version was around 3% adrift. However, the performance of the initial PIP I package, which was certificated in August 2011 and targeted at closing the gap by 1.6%, has resulted in fuel burn that is better than expected on initial airplane in service. With the PIP II, which resumed flight tests this month on Boeing's (ZA005) development 787, (GEC) is optimistic that overall airplane-level performance will reach or exceed initial goals.
The PIP II package, which also included a higher rating of 78,000 lbs thrust for the stretched 787-9, includes an effective increase in fan diameter of 0.5 inch, optimized outlet guide vanes, a higher-flow low-pressure compressor, improved high-pressure compressor aerodynamics and durability improvements in the high-pressure turbine and combustor. Certification, originally targeted for late in 2012, was delayed because of lack of suitably cold weather last year for icing tests. Flight tests did get underway on (ZA005) but were suspended when all 787s were grounded three months ago.
Engine tests for PIP II are “all complete from our perspective,” says (GEnx) Program General Manager, Chuck Nugent. “The testing reports are all done, and the certification board is scheduled to be here [for FAR 33 engine-certification approval] this month. We are working through the rest of the program timing. The engines are fitted right now and have already flown.” The interrupted test effort was expected to resume following the completion of a check flight by (ZA005) on April 9.
GE Aviation (GEC) has announced the expansion of its Testing, Research & Development Center in Winnipeg, Manitoba that will allow the facility to test jet engines year-round.
The facility was originally established to handle jet engine cold weather and ice testing, and (GEC) invested $2.5 million in the facility over the past year to incorporate digital temperature-catching equipment, turbulence control structures and a concrete base to allow the wind tunnel to accommodate different types of testing, the company said.
Kevin Kanter, Manager Design & Systems Integration at GE Aviation (GEC), said the year-round capabilities will be crucial to the company’s new engine development programs.
Over the next several years, the facility has a rigorous test schedule planned that includes (CFM)'s (LEAP) engine, which has been selected for the Boeing 737 MAX and Airbus A320neo.
Boeing (TBC)'s selection of the General Electric (GE9X) for all three proposed variants of the still-unlaunched 777X begins a five-year campaign for (GEC) to test and certificate a new product featuring several new advances in gas turbine technology and capability.
(GEC)'s preliminary development plan for the (GE9X) calls for certification in May 2018 on a common core, with a slightly more than 100,000lb-thrust variant to power the 777-9X, a roughly 90,000lb-thrust variant to power the smaller 777-8X and another variant to power the ultra-long-range 777-8LX, says Bill Millhaem, the (GE9X) Program Manager.
That development schedule means the first 777X is unlikely to enter service before mid-2019, as there is usually at least a one year gap between engine certification and airplane certification. Millhaem's comments also clarify that the 777-8LX concept, featuring a 17,550 km (9,480nm) range, remains in Boeing's long-term plans for the re-engined and re-winged wide body.
Boeing (TBC) is still refining the design and business case for the 777X ahead of asking the company's board for authority to launch the program. Technically, (GEC) was selected as Boeing (TBC)'s engine partner on 777X studies. "We are aggressively moving forward per our plan and working with our customers on the requirements," Boeing says. "While we haven't set a firm timeline or launched the program, we've consistently talked about a potential [entry-into-service] around the end of the decade."
Along with a new composite wing and a stretched fuselage, the (GE9X) is among the three key design changes aimed at improving the efficiency and the competitiveness of the venerable 777 family, which faces a new challenger in the market with the debut of the Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent XWB)-powered A350-900 and A350-1000.
Boeing (TBC) has only one chance to get the 777X design right, and its patience is clear in the (GE9X) configuration, which has evolved even since September. At that time, (GEC) revealed a configuration with a 129 in/3.28 m fan diameter. On 15 March, (GEC) announced the fan diameter had grown to 132 in, although Millhaem clarified in an interview that the diameter is really 131.5 in.
"Boeing wanted a larger [fan] that will give us a little more thrust for the engine," Millhaem explains. "The core will grow a small amount as well. It's a relatively small change that we're making on the engine." Millhaem says the new fan diameter establishes the (GE9X) bypass ratio as 10.3:1, a +14% improvement compared to the 9:1 bypass ratio of the (GE90-115B) that powers the 777-300ER. Bypass ratio measures the air that flows through the inlet fan and around the core compared to the air that enters the combustion flow path.
The bypass ratio is one of three changes that are intended to give the (GE9X) a -10% fuel advantage compared to the (GE90-115B). (GEC) also has included several changes that reduce the weight and increases the thermal efficiency of the new engine.
The engine is lighter for several reasons, including a switch to a set of fewer, composite fan blades and a composite fan case, an innovation (GEC) launched on the (GEnx) engine family. The (GE9X) inlet fan will be comprised of only 16 thinner and wider blades, or six fewer than on the (GE90-115B).
The fan diameter of the (GE9X), however, is 20 in wider than the (GEnx-1B), meaning that the composite fan case must be able to survive significantly higher loads in the event that a blade is ripped loose. "We think the technology is sufficiently mature for where we want to go with the fan diameter," Millhaem says.
Another key change to reduce weight is the incorporation of lighter and thermally stronger ceramic matrix composites (CMC) in new areas of the engine.
(GEC) is already introducing (CMC)s in the shrouds of the first stage high pressure turbine of the (Leap) narrow body engine, which it is developing with (CFM) International joint venture (JV) partner, Snecma.
In the (GE9X), (GEC) is expanding the use of (CMC)s dramatically, replacing metallics with the new material in the inner and outer linings of the combustor, the first and second stage turbine nozzles and the second stage turbine blades, Millhaem says.
Using (CMC)s in the combustor linings also helps (GEC) deal with the higher temperatures created by the third key design change on the (GE9X), which is the significant improvement in thermal efficiency.
A single kilogram of air entering the combustion flow path at the fan inlet will be squeezed to weigh 61 kg by the time it enters the combustor, which is known as 61:1 overall pressure ratio (OPR). The state of the art in the industry today is about 50:1, and the nearly 20-year-old (GE90) achieves only a 40:1 (OPR). As the same kilogram of air exits the fan and enters the first stage of compressor, it will weigh 27 kg by the time it reaches the last of 11 stages, giving the (GE9X) a 27:1 compressor pressure ratio. That is also significantly higher than engines today, which can achieve a 24:1 compressor ratio at best.
Such increasing pressures drive higher temperatures inside the compressor. Using (CMC)s in the combustor linings mean that (GEC) can reduce the amount of cooling airflow to prevent the linings from melting, Millhaem says. The air exiting the 11th stage of the compressor, meanwhile, will be about 26.7°C/80°F hotter than the same stage of the (GEnx), which forces (GEC) to use what it describes as a fourth-generation of power-based alloys that can survive higher temperatures.
(GEC) will test these advanced compressor technologies for the time in July or August at the company's oil and gas facility in Italy. That will be followed by a test of the entire engine core in the middle of 2015, Millhaem says. The first complete engine to test milestone is scheduled in mid-2016.
"That will put us really into a formal flight test and certification program," he says.
May 2013: General Electric Conpany (GEC) and the Boeing Company (TBC) have alerted airlines about a potential problem with engines on Boeing (TBC)’s long-range 777 jumbo jet that caused the engines to shut in mid-flight twice this year. The problem affects about 118 so-called transfer gear boxes made between September and March. The part, made by Italian company Avio SpA, are on about 26 in service 777-300ER jets and another 44 airplanes in production, (GEc) said.
There are more than >1,150 of the (GE90-115B) engines in service and the gearbox has been a reliable part for more than >15 years, (GEC) said. The cause of the problem appears to be with an anomaly in the material that caused gears to separate, although the exact cause remains unknown, (GEC) said.
The companies told airlines to inspect or replace the transfer gear boxes produced during the six-month period, ensuring that at least one engine on the plane has had an inspection or a replacement made before September. (GEC) is sending replacement parts to airlines.
The gearbox transfers power from the engine to run fuel pumps and other vital engine functions, (GEC) said. Failure causes the engine to shut down. The incidents in which engines shut down during flight occurred in February and on May 9, (GEC) said. One of the incidents occurred on an Air China (BEJ) plane. The other could not immediately be identified.
In both cases, only one engine shut down, and the twin-engine 777 is able to continue flight with the remaining engine. “You don’t have a fire, you don’t have an explosion,” when the gearbox fails, said Rick Kennedy, a (GEC) spokesman. While the cause of the failures remains unknown, the (FAA) is expected to make the inspections mandatory through an Airworthiness Directive (AD).
(GE) Aviation (GEC) is expanding its ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) facility in Newark, Delaware with a $27 million investment and plans to add +70 jobs at the facility over five years.
(GEC) will develop a “Lean Lab” allowing for collaboration between Engineering and Manufacturing. Teams work together to demonstrate a component’s manufacturing readiness before scaling for full-rate production. Production technologies for (CMC) components will be developed and proven in Newark before transitioning to manufacturing facilities for mass production.
(GEC) said demand for (CMC) components in jet engines is expected to grow tenfold over the next decade. (CMC)s are being used in (GE)’s next-generation airplane engines to help achieve higher fuel efficiency, lower emissions and improved environmental performance by allowing them to run hotter.
(GEC) is incorporating (CMC)s into the (CFM) International (LEAP) engine that will enter airline service in 2016 and power the A320neo, 737 MAX, and COMAC C919 airplanes. This will mark the first time that (CMC)s will be used in a commercial engine. Boeing (TBC) has selected (GE)’s (GE9X) engine for its future 777X program and the (GE9X) is also expected to feature several (CMC) components.
Boeing (TBC) said its 747-8I Intercontinental completed its first four-hour test flight this week with a package of performance improvements including enhanced (GE) engines. Boeing (TBC) Flight Test & Evaluation Captain Kirk Vining said, “It was a great flight and the engines performed as expected.”
The 747-8I’s Performance Improvement Package (PIP) includes improvements to the (GEnx-2B) engines and Flight Management Computer (FMC) software. Boeing (TBC) said the improvements have resulted in an accumulated +1.5% gain in fuel efficiency since the first airplane was delivered less than <2 years ago. “These new improvements will give operators an airplane that is an additional +1.8% more efficient,” Boeing (TBC) said, adding, “The test program will also validate the design changes and demonstrate the operation of the horizontal tank fuel system on the passenger version of the 747-8I, which was deferred from the initial deliveries.”
First deliveries of the new configuration will be in early 2014 and will be available for retrofit. Entry into service (EIS) of the new engines and (FMC) software will take place in late 2013.
June 2013: At the Paris Air Show, Korean Air agreed to purchase 5 747-8 Intercontinental airplanes and 6 777-300ERs, in an order valued at approximately $3.6 billion at current list prices. (GE) Aviation (GEC) said (KAL) has committed to buy 5 (GEnx-2B) powered 747-8Is and 6 (GE90-115B)-powered 777-300ERs. The list price of the engines is valued at more than >$800 million.
(KAL) is the only airline in the world to order both the passenger and freighter versions of the 747-8.
(GE) Aviation (GEC) named Steve Walters as General Manager of its Mechanical Systems Business.
July 2013: (GE) Aviation (GEC) is investing $195 million over the next four years into a major expansion effort for its jet engine production facilities in North Carolina, along with plans on breaking ground later this year on an advanced composite component factory.
The new facility, located in Asheville, North Carolina, will be 125,000 sq feet, with a focus on producing airplane engine components composed of ceramic matrix composite (CMC) materials. (GEC)'s investment represents its goal for producing next-generation airplane engines, with the lightweight (CMC) components supporting an effort to reduce fuel burn and maintenance costs while also supporting high temperatures in high pressure turbines.
"(GEC) has been investing in (CMC) technology for decades, and we are mastering the manufacturing of (CMC)s at our laboratory in Delaware. Asheville will be our first factory involved in the mass production of (CMC) components," said David Joyce, President & (CEO) of GE Aviation (GEC). "We believe the future Asheville plant will be on the ground floor of a new technology that will change aviation."
Additionally, through 2017, (GEC) plans on using some of that $195 million investment to expand its existing operations in North Carolina at the Durham, West Jefferson and Wilmington facilities.
(GE) Aviation has (GEC) named (TAG) Farnborough Engineering as an authorized service center for (GE)’s (CF34-3) engines that power the Bombardier (BMB) Challenger series. Under this agreement, (TAG) Farnborough Engineering can perform engine line maintenance, as well as provide OnPointsolution agreement and warranty support and facilitate access to both (GE) parts and technical support.
August 2013: General Electric (GE), parent of GE Aviation (GEC), has completed the acquisition of Italian aerospace company Avio for $4.3 billion. Turin-based Avio manufactures aviation propulsion components and systems for civil and military airplanes. (GE) did not purchase Avio’s space unit. Avio’s aviation business has been renamed Avio Aero, a GE Aviation (GEC) business. Avio Aero will retain headquarters in Turin, Italy. “Avio Aero operates in four continents and enhances our global capabilities and engineering strength as our production rates rise,” GE Aviation (GEC) President & (CEO), David Joyce said. “Also (GE) will build Avio Aero’s position as a supplier to other industrial and aviation companies.”
(GE) also said it will pursue opportunities for Avio Aero in power-generation, oil and marine products.
(GE) Aviation (GEC) has named Comlux (CLA) as an authorized service center for (CF34-3)s on Bombardier (BMB) Challengers. Comlux (CLA) can now perform line maintenance inspections and routine installed engine maintenance, including removal and replacement of engines and engine components. (CLA) can also do OnPoint and (GE) warranty support.
September 2013: (GE) Aviation (GEC) and stakeholders are collaborating on Airspace Efficiency for 10 Brazil Airports. "Green Skies" of Brazil uses (GEC)’s flight data analytics to measure and quantify airline opportunities and benefits. (GOL) (GOT) will be the first airline to launch the program.
(GEC) Flight Analytics platform used detailed airspace, airport and airline operational models to evaluate the efficiency of historical flight operations, identify areas for improvement, and quantify the potential efficiency gains. As a result, (GE)’s Navigation & Fuel Management experts quantified the value of deploying Required Navigation Performance (RNP) procedures to airlines in Brazil. (DECEA) will be deploying the public-use (RNP) procedures and multiple city pair procedures at 10 key airports in southeast Brazil. This effort ensures an efficient, cost-saving network within the first year.
The 10 airports selected for the program will be: Guarulhos, Congonhas, Viracopos, Galeão, Curitiba, Brasília, Confins, Vitoria and Pampulha; initial paths at Santos Dumont were deployed in 2012. At Brasilia International airport alone, (GOL) (GOT) could potentially save an average of 22 track miles, 7.5 minutes, 77 gallons of fuel and 1,628 lbs of CO2 per approach compared to the conventional paths, totaling more than >$24 million in operational savings over five years.
“Once the (RNP) paths are deployed, (GEC)’s Flight Analytics platform will analyse actual flight and operational data to support optimization, validate the cost savings and identify additional areas for improvements,” said Giovanni Spitale, General Manager of (GEC)’s Flight Efficiency Services. “This may include optimizing the paths for additional fuel and track mile savings, vertical profile reduction, capacity gains, runway throughput or environmental improvements.”
(GOL) (GOT)’s team spearheaded the program from an airline-perspective, sharing flight and operations data with (GEC) for analysis, supporting calculations of cost savings through their Continuous Improvement program and identifying airspace bottlenecks.
With Brazil air travel expected to grow +6.5% annually over the next 10 years, and commitments to host the World Soccer Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016, Brazil’s major aviation stakeholders recognise that airspace efficiency must be improved as quickly as possible. Through the use of (RNP) and data analytics, increased air traffic demands can be accommodated while simultaneously reducing operating costs and environmental footprint.
(GEC) has a suite of service offerings that increase an airplane’s overall operational efficiency and is harnessing the power of the Industrial Internet and using software and analytics to make its machines smarter and more efficient. (GEC) is using data analytics to identify ways to reduce operating costs, increase airplane utilisation and improve the business of flight.
October 2013: (GE) Aviation (GEC) has several new customers for its flight efficiency services business, which supports airlines in fuel management, flight data analytics, navigation and fleet synchronization.
(EVA) Airways and Garuda Indonesia (GIA) will use (GEC)’s fuel-management services. (GEC) is designing custom solutions for (EVA), and (GIA) will use consulting, analytics and business intelligence to improve flight operations.
(GEC) also has a collaborative program, "Green Skies of Brazil," which aims to improve airspace efficiency at 10 Brazil airports. Brazilian low-cost carrier (LCC) (GOL) will be the first airline to launch the program this year, and may save up to 77 gallons of fuel per approach and $24 million over five years.
November 2013: The (FAA) is poised to order airlines to avoid flying 787 Dreamliners and 747-8 jumbo jets with General Electric Company (GEC) engines near thunderstorms after some of the planes experienced ice buildup.
An airworthiness directive (AD) due to be released is an “interim action” to ensure pilots (FC) fly clear of icing conditions that could reduce thrust from (GEnx) engines. The USA move follows Japan Airlines (JAL)’s decision to shift to other jets from 787s on some Asia routes. The icing risk adds urgency for pilots (FC) to steer clear of thunderstorms already shunned because of potentially deadly lightning and turbulence. Jets flying at high altitudes through tropical zones can be at risk from powerful storms that promote the formation of performance-sapping ice, according to (GEC). “It’s a relatively rare phenomenon, because it requires just the right meteorological conditions,” Hans Weber, President of San Diego-based aviation consultant, Tecop International Inc, said. “This isn’t a problem that will be limited to (GEC) engines. These crystals have been found in all engines at high altitudes near thunderstorms.”
The 787 Dreamliner, the first jet made chiefly of composite materials, entered service with (ANA) Holdings Inc’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) in October 2011. (ANA), the biggest 787 Dreamliner operator, uses Rolls-Royce Holdings (RRC) engines on its planes.
(JAL)’s 787s have (GEnx) engines, as do the 787S flown by United Airlines (UAL), the only USA airline flying 787s. (UAL) hasn’t changed schedules or routes for its 787s, said Christen David, a spokeswoman.
Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings Inc (AAWW) (TLS), the lone USA operator of 747-8s, adjusted operations after Boeing (TBC)’s November 23 warning for (GEnx)-equipped jets to stay 50 nautical miles/93 kilometers from storms, said Bonnie Rodney, a spokeswoman. Any disruptions for the freighters “will be minimal and can be managed with only minor re-routings,” Rodney said.
Cathay Pacific Airways (CAT), the Hong Kong-based airline, said it has 10 Boeing 747-8Fs in its fleet that are powered by (GEnx) engines. As a precautionary measure, it’s standard operating procedure for 747-8F freighters is to avoid flying into thunderstorms, (CAT) said in an e-mailed response.
“This looks a lot like a classic teething issue,” Richard Aboulafia, an Aerospace analyst at Fairfax, Virginia-based consultant, Teal Group, said by e-mail. “It’s probably isolated to just the engine, and even then just one of the two engines available as options. It’s also probably easily fixed with a software tweak, rather than any kind of hardware modification.”
(GEC) said it’s making software modifications to eliminate the ice-buildup risk and expects them to be available in the first quarter. Marc Birtel, a Boeing (TBC) spokesman, said the engines’ design and maintenance practices, together with the new instructions, allow for the jets’ “continued safe operation.” “The (FAA) has been working closely with Boeing and (GEc) to monitor and understand these events as the companies develop a permanent solution,” the (FAA) said. It didn’t give a specific time for issuing the (AD) on the planes, which only covers USA carriers.
Both the 787 and 747-8 have had bumpy debuts. The 747-8 was two years late in starting service in 2011, and slack demand forced Boeing to cut output. The 787, whose 2011 entry was 3 1/2 years late, was grounded for three months in January after meltdowns in the lithium-ion battery packs on two 787s.
There have been six cases since April of planes with (GEnx) engines temporarily losing thrust in high-altitude icing conditions, (GEC) said November 23. Five were with 747-8s and one was with a 787.
(JAL) will replace 787s on flights between Tokyo and Delhi with 777s until November 30, and will switch to 767s on its Tokyo - Singapore route.
Boeing (TBC) surpassed 1,000 orders for the 787 with its haul at the Dubai Air Show this month. (TBC) handed over 57 of the four-engine 747-8s, through the end of last month, most of which are freighters.
“Airlines wouldn’t be too concerned about engines in terms of costs,” K Ajith, a Singapore-based analyst at (UOB) Kay Hian Pte. “There will be some of sort compensation for airlines. Despite the problems, the airplane is quite popular.”
To contact the reporters on this story: Tim Catts in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org; Alan Levin in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Ed Dufner at firstname.lastname@example.org; Bernard Kohn at email@example.com
At the Dubai Air Show, Emirates (EAD) announced it had signed up for 150 777Xs and placed 50 purchase rights. The 777Xs are powered by the General Electric (GE9X) engine.
(GE) has given Tianjin Airlines (GCR) TRUEngine designation for 107 (CF34-10E) engines powering 50 Embraer EMB-190s. And (GE) Capital Aviation Services (GEC) has opened a new office in Nairobi, Kenya, to serve airlines in eastern Africa.
Silk Way West Airlines (AZQ) has been awarded by (GEC) its "TRUEngine" designation for eight (GEnx-2B)s that will power its fleet of two Boeing 747-8F freighters, slated for delivery in 2014.
(GEC) has awarded Azerbaijan Airlines (AHY) its "TRUEngine" designation for 18 (GE) engines powering three of its airplane types. The agreement includes six (CF6-80C2)s powering Azerbaijan Airline (AHY)’s Boeing 767s, eight (CF34-10E)s powering its Embraer EMB-190s and four (GEnx-1B) engines, powering two Boeing 787-8s slated for delivery in 2014.
(GE) Capital Aviation Services (GEF) has promoted Stephane Daillencourt as Executive VP Aviation Financing Operations.
December 2013: The Malaysia Department of Civil Aviation Authority (DCA) has approved AirAsia (ASW) to begin flying required navigation performance (RNP) flight paths in Malaysia.
Approval was granted following a collaborative nationwide flight path program that began in 2012 between AirAsia (ASW), the (DCA) and (GE) Aviation (GEC). The program was designed to improve operational efficiency at 15 airports in Malaysia, and (GEC)'s Flight Efficiency Services has now delivered (RNP) flight procedures for 7 airports: Penang, Kuching, Langkawi, Johor Bahru, Miri, Sibu, and Kota Bharu, with the remaining 8 to follow.
Performance based navigation (PBN) allows pilots (FC) to use on board avionics to follow a precise track independent of ground-based navigational aids that limit where the airplane can go. (RNP) procedures are an advanced form of (PBN) technology, which can shorten the distance an airplane has to fly during the en-route phase of flight leading to fuel and emissions reduction, according to (GE) Aviation (GEC).
When the (RNP) paths are deployed for all 15 airports, AirAsia (ASW) expects to save up >$305,000 per year on reduced fuel costs. "The (RNP) flight paths can save the airline up to -23 NM [nautical miles] at Kuching Airport and -18 NM at Kota Bharu, compared to the standard terminal arrival," said Giovanni Spitale General Manager of (GE) Aviation (GEC)'s Flight Efficiency Services. "Some of the new flight procedures, including Langkawi, provide airplanes with an instrument approach procedure and vertical guidance to runways that previously had none."
February 2014: (GE) Aviation (GEC) has described initial test results for the high pressure compressor (HPC) module of the new (GE9X) engine destined for the Boeing 777X as “very promising.”
The (HPC) module is approaching the 300-hour mark in the test program, having got underway last September at the (GE) Oil & Gas test facility in Massa, Italy.
The module under test is a 90% scale model of the full-size (HPC). A (GE) (LM2500) engine generates >29,000 hp to power it during the test. “The test results for the (GE9X) (HPC) rig are very promising, as the module achieved the 27:1 pressure ratio (the highest pressure ratio for any commercial airplane engine),” (GE) Aviation (GE90)/(GE9X) program General Manager Bill Millhaem said.
“The testing has validated the efficiency and operability of the (HPC) module design well ahead of the entry into service (EIS) and supports our plan to deliver a +10% fuel burn improvement over today’s (GE90).”
Completion of the rig testing next month will have garnered 450 hours of operation that will allow (GE) engineers to analyze data gathered by >1,000 pieces of instrumentation aimed at optimizing the (HPC) module design.
(GEC) aims to start testing a 2nd such module at Massa later this year and a 3rd example prior to the 1st engine beginning testing in 2016.
(GEC) will spend $300 million in 2014 on maturation testing of technologies for the new (GE9X) engine. Testing will include the Universal Propulsion Simulator (UPS) fan performance tests that are underway at Boeing (TBC)’s Seattle, Washington facility. This test will provide key data on the (GE9X) fan design, which will be the largest fan diameter of any commercial airplane engine to date.
The first full core test is scheduled for 2015, with flight testing on (GEC)’s flying testbed anticipated in 2017. Certification is scheduled for 2018.
(GE) Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) (GEC) could be in the market for around 40 Airbus A320neos, along with up to 10 of each of the Boeing 777X and re-engined A330, should the latter program go ahead with (GE) engines.
March 2014: Air France (AFA) - (KLM) has selected (GE) Aviation (GEC) (GEnx-1B) engines to power 25 Boeing 787s on order plus 12 leased 787 Dreamliners. (GE) said the total engine order is valued at >$1.7 billion. (AFA)- (KLM) and (GEC) also signed an agreement allowing (AFA) - (KLM) to offer maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services for (GEnx-1B) engines.
“Under this agreement, (AFA) - (KLM) will be licensed to perform maintenance and overhaul work on the (GEnx-1B) engine and (GEC) will provide technical support and assistance on overhaul workscoping and component repair licenses, comprehensive material support and training.” (GEC) noted AirFrance (AFA) was the 1st operator of the (GE90-115B) engine on the 777-300ER.
(GE) Aviation (GEC) announced it will break ground in 2014 on a new $100 million jet engine assembly facility in Lafayette, Indiana. The new 225,000-square-foot plant will assemble the new (LEAP) engine of (CFM) International, a 50/50 joint company of (GE) and Snecma (Safran) of France.
(CFM) has logged total orders and commitments with airlines for >6,000 (LEAP) jet engines, which will enter service in 2016. It will power new Airbus A320neo, Boeing 737 MAX, and China’s (COMAC) C919 airplanes.
The Lafayette facility is (GE) Aviation (GEC)’s 7th new site in the USA in the past 7 years, comprising sites in Batesville, Mississipi; Auburn, Alabama; Greenville, South Carolina; Dayton, Ohio; Ellisville, Mississipi; and Asheville, North Carolina.
Between 2013 and 2017, (GE) Aviation (GEC) expects to invest >$3.5 billion in plant and equipment at its sites worldwide, with most of the investment in the USA.
April 2014: (GE) Aviation (GEC) and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan announced a strategic partnership to support the development of advanced technologies for the (GE9X) engine, which will power the Boeing 777X. It will also provide a +10% improvement in fuel consumption over the existing (GE90-115B) engine. The 777X is scheduled to enter service in 2020.
(GE) Aviation (GEC) (GE90) engines reached 40 million flight hours. >1,725 (GE90) engines are flying with 63 operators. (GEC) produced 180 (GE90) engines in 2012, 220 in 2013, and plans to deliver 230 in 2014.
AirAsia X (ASX) has selected (GE) Aviation (GEC)’s (CF6-80E1) engines to power its order of 25 Airbus A330-300s, +3 options in a deal worth $1.5 billion at list prices. The deal includes a multi-year OnPoint solution service agreement.
May 2014: (CFM) International named Allen Paxson as Executive VP, succeeding Chaker Chahrour who has been appointed VP Sales & Marketing for GE Aviation (GEC). Paxson most recently served as General Manager Regional Engines & Services.
(GE) Aviation said its (CF34-10E) engine is beating expectations for time on wing, with outstanding exhaust gas temperature margin retention. So far, the engine is lasting up to 18,000 flight hours before removal.
July 2014: (CFM) International, the (GE) Aviation (GEC)/Snecma joint venture (JV), said it secured orders/commitments and service agreements for 1,062 engines at the Farnborough Airshow.
It noted that among its wins at Farnborough was easyJet (EZY) choosing the (LEAP-1A) for 100 Airbus A320neo family airplanes and the (CFM56-5B) for 35 A320ceo family airplanes. Also, American Airlines (AAL) selected the (LEAP-1A) for 100 A320neos.
“As of today, we have total orders and commitments for >3,000 engines” so far in 2014, President & (CEO) Jean-Paul Ebanga said. “And it is still only July. Both the (LEAP) and (CFM56) product lines continue to prove their worth.”
(MTU) Aero Engines will take a 4% workshare in the General Electric (GE9X) program. (MTU) will manufacture and assume design responsibility for the engine’s turbine center frame. Taken over the life of the program, the workshare will be worth around €4 billion/$5.5 billion in revenue for (MTU).
The new engine will be designed to exclusively power the Boeing 777X, which is slated to enter service around 2020. 300 airplanes are already on firm order or option. The contractual details still need to be finalized between the parties to the deal. (MTU) will participate in the engine’s sales and profits in proportion to its program share. “Our stake in the (GE9X) program gives us a significant market share in one of the most important next-generation engines in the upper thrust category. At the same time, it helps us further balance the mix of our product portfolio,” (MTU) (CEO) Reiner Winkler said. “Some 30% of today’s active airplanes have (MTU) modules on board. We are going to increase this share in the worldwide engine fleets appreciably over the next 5 to 10 years.”
(GE) Aviation (GEC) has begun construction on a $100 million jet engine assembly facility in Lafayette, Indiana. The new 225,000 sq ft facility will assemble the new (CFM) International (LEAP) engine.
(CFM) has logged total orders and commitments with airlines for >7,500 (LEAP) jet engines, which is scheduled to enter service in 2016. It will power new Airbus A320neo, Boeing 737 MAX, and Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) (CCC) C919 airplanes.
Launched in 2008, the (LEAP) is now undergoing development testing. As the engine transitions to the production phase, (GE) could begin hiring at the new Lafayette facility as early as 2015. Within 5 years, the plant’s workforce is expected to be >200 people with the capacity to do final assembly for the engine as well as the engine’s hot section (compressor, combustor and high-pressure turbine).
Final assembly of the (LEAP) engine at the Lafayette facility will involve using components and sub-assemblies from (GE) and Snecma operations and from their suppliers around the world. The (LEAP) engine will also be assembled at (GE)’s existing engine assembly plant in Durham, North Carolina.
(GE) Aviation (GEC) has awarded Etihad Airways (EHD) a TRUEngine designation for its (GE)-(CF6)-powered Airbus A330s. Nearly 9,000 engines operated by >130 operators have now received TRUEngine designation.
August 2014: (GE) Aviation (GEC) has reached a deal with Southwest Airlines (SWA) to expand its OnPoint solution agreement to cover a total of 196 (CFM56-7B)s on Boeing 737-800s and up to 100 (CFM56-7B)s on 737-700s.
Core assembly of the 1st pair of (CFM) International (Leap-1A) engines to power the Airbus A320neo is underway, marking the start of a production run that has already amassed firm orders for >7,500 engines across all 3 new-generation variants.
The A320neo flight-test engines are being assembled at General Electric (GEC)'s production facility in Durham, North Carolina, at the same time as the first (Leap-1C) for (COMAC) (CCC)'s C919 is prepared for evaluation on the company's 747-100 flying testbed in Victorville, California. Ground tests of the (Leap-1B) variant for the Boeing 737 MAX are also underway following the start of engine runs at Snecma's Villaroche facility in France last June. The combined activity means the joint (GE)-Snecma engine development effort is entering its most crucial phase yet.
(CFM)'s initial market success with the (Leap) makes it imperative the engine performs as designed from the start, as the A320neo entry-into-service (EIS) target of mid-2016 leaves almost no schedule margin for performance recovery or post-test modifications. While engine makers are used to pressurized development programs, the sheer number of new (Leap) engines on order for the growing wave of A320neo and 737 MAX in particular (added to the ambitious guarantees on better fuel burn and the rapid production transition to the new models) takes pressure to a whole new level. The engine competes head-to-head with Pratt & Whitney (PRW)'s (PW1100G) for the A320neo market, but is the exclusive powerplant for the 737 MAX and C919.
"We will be certifying the (Leap 1A) at the engine level in the second quarter of 2015 and then it goes on to power the NEO," said Gareth Richards Leap Program Manager for (GEC). The 1st 2 A320neo units, Nos 101 and 102, are considered non-standard engines "because they have a lot of instrumentation," said Richards, who added that the units will be delivered to the Airbus facility in Toulouse near the end of the year. The (Leap)-powered A320neo flight-test program is scheduled to run for 1 year and will be followed by similar-length test phases for the A319neo and A321neo.
The first (Leap-1C) engine has in the meantime been transported to Victorville where it will be attached to the 1st of (GEc)'s 2 747 flying testbeds with the aim of starting flight tests in early September. The 1st (-1A), which is due to arrive in California about a month later, will be installed on (GEC)'s more recently acquired 747-400 (SEE PHOTO - - "GEC-747-400 - 2014-08") testbed. The 2 engines will then be tested side-by-side for several months from the 4th quarter onward, marking the 1st time (GEC)'s flight-test unit has undertaken such an intensive evaluation period.
"We have tripled the staff at Victorville," said Richards. "We are going from 50 to close to 150 by the time we are finished, and we are at >100 already. Not only will we have another airplane, we will be testing the engines in parallel, so they are actually going to operate together. We will have 2 flight-test crews and 2 teams of mechanics (MT) operating 3 shifts, 7 days a week." The special test pylon, which attaches the (Leap-1C) to the 747, was delivered by (Comac) (CCC) at the end of 2013 and has been configured with test wiring and is "ready to go," he added.
(CFM) expects to deliver the 1st flight-compliance engines to (Comac) (CCC) in the 2nd quarter of 2015. The revised schedule now calls for certification of the C919 to be completed by late 2017, with (EIS) set for early 2018. The Chinese manufacturer revealed in early 2013 that it was extending the development schedule for the 158-seat airliner; at that time, it expected to delay 1st flight from mid-2014 to mid-2015. "(COMAC) (CCC)'s 1st airplane is in assembly. We have seen it and it is coming along very well," said Richards.
Despite the schedule change at (CCC) last year, (CFM) opted to adhere to its original test plan because of the similarities between the engines for the C919 and the A320neo. "Other than the externals and mounting, the turbomachinery and part numbers are common. Whatever we learn from the performance and operability of the (-1C) will be applicable to the (-1A). The control software adjustment for the (-1A) will be based on the (-1C) experience, so we don't see it as the (-1C) 1st and the (-1A) 2nd. We see it as 2 flight tests of basically the same engine," Richards said.
The (Leap-1C) will be the 1st (CFM) engine to be supplied with a new-generation nacelle, and that factored into test-program planning. The nacelle was developed by Nexcelle, a joint venture (JV) between Safran subsidiary Aircelle and (GE) Aviation (GEC)'s Middle River Aircraft Systems.
The nacelle configuration incorporates a one-piece composite O-Duct which replaces the conventional two-piece "D" doors in a standard thrust-reverser arrangement. When deployed, the O-Duct moves aft to the reverse (thrust position, eliminating drag links in the engine's secondary flow path and increasing the efficiency of the reverser).
The (Leap-1A) following closely behind is a dedicated flying testbed engine with externals and structural modifications to enable it to fit onto the 747-400. "That airplane is in Victorville and has finished its modification and is also going to go through the same sequence. The pylon needs to be installed; the key difference is that it has Airbus systems. We are providing the pylon and Aircelle is providing the nacelle." For the initial test-campaign units, Aircelle has contracted the work back to (GE) Middle River. "Officially, it is still an Airbus nacelle," he added.
While the upcoming flying testbed work is "a highly visible part of the program, it is not a difficult test from an engineering point of view," said Richards. "It is all about calibration and performance. What's important to certification is everything else such as the [150 hour] block test, the icing test, fan blade out, ingestion, hail, rain, (IMI) [maintenance intervals] and extended range operations. Those will make the difference in when and how well we complete certification," Richards added.
The (Leap-1A) flight-test engine is the 6th overall in the test program. The 1st 5 include 4 (-1A/C)s and the 1st (-1B). The engine for the 737 MAX is scheduled for certification in the 1st quarter of 2016, roughly concurrent with the start of flight tests. "We are in the final stages of build of the next (-1B) engine, which goes to test in the September - October period. The first engine is not a certification engine," Richards noted.
He expounded, "It will be used for all sorts of engineering tests, just like the 1st (-1A) engine, which is now on its 3rd build. We will do practice ingestion tests, early icing, bird shots and so on. The 1st (-1B) has a similar engineering mission and we will be exercising the heck out of it."
October 2014: News Item A-1: (GE) Aviation (GEC) is increasing its investment in big data analytics to flag potential engine trouble spots and has used some of this learning to revamp its engine support portal.
(CFM) International’s (LEAP) engine made its 1st flight on (GEC)’s Boeing 747 flying testbed at Victorville, California, launching the next phase of testing for the advanced engine program.
The engine “behaved well and completed multiple aeromechnical test points at various altitudes during the nearly 3-hour 1st flight. Over the following several weeks, the engine completes a comprehensive test schedule that will gauge engine operability, stall margin, performance, and acoustics. The (LEAP-1A/-1C) variants are on track for engine certification in 2015.”
(CFM)’s total program (which encompasses all 3 (LEAP) engine variants) includes 28 ground and (CFM) flight test engines, along with a total of 32 flight test engines for Airbus (EDS), Boeing (TBC) and (COMAC) (CCC) airplanes.
News Item A-2: The following "(CFM) celebrates its 40th anniversary - - Franco-American Cooperation, 40 Years On" is from Air Transport World (ATW)'s Observation Deck Blog by George Hamlin:
Although there has not been a lot of fanfare, particularly in public, 2014 is noteworthy as the 40th anniversary of the formation of (CFM) International, the producer of the (CFM56) engine, which has the largest market share on current production single-aisle jetliners. Furthermore, this 50/50 joint venture (JV) of France’s (SNECMA) (now a subsidiary of Safran) and General Electric of the USA looks to carry this record onwards for a number of years, at the least.
To put the single-aisle market in perspective, in 1974, 1 engine manufacturer, Pratt & Whitney (PRW), had virtually all the marbles, so to speak. Its (JT8D) engine was the exclusive powerplant on both the Boeing 727 and 737, and the McDonnell Douglas DC-9. This trio of airplanes dominated short- and medium-range sales outside of the (USSR), and the (UK). The (USSR)’s products were typically not used outside that country’s sphere of influence, and while the British (BAC) One-Eleven and Trident (which were powered by Rolls-Royce (RRC) Spey engines) did achieve significant success in terms of geography, their sales numbers paled in comparison with the American trio.
For that matter, (GE) had been absent from the airliner market subsequent to its participation in the Convair 880/990 program in the late 1950s/early 1960s, having only re-entered in the early 1970s via the (CF6) engine designed for wide bodies, including the Boeing 747 and McDonnell Douglas DC-10, initially.
At the start, the cooperative venture was targeted at the Advanced Medium (STOL) Transport (AMST) competition being run by the USA military. A further sales target was the potential market for re-engining 707s and DC-8s. Both of these early transports had engines that were not as fuel-efficient as newer designs, and were particularly disadvantaged versus the “high-bypass” engines (such as the (CF6)) that were increasingly taking over long-haul international routes from the 707s and DC-8s. In addition, there was a growing concern that more stringent noise regulations would render these 2 types obsolete, even though many of them had significant economic lives remaining, particularly the DC-8s.
Initial success came in the form of a military contract, however. (CFMI) won the opportunity to re-engine a portion of the USA tanker fleet, the KC-135, with its new (CFM56) engine. While this powerplant features a core from (GE)’s F101 military engine, the real advantages conveyed by the re-engining program had more to do with better performance, lower fuel consumption and better noise characteristics. This prolonged the life of many KC-135s considerably. In 2013, the 1st operational KC-135R was retired, although in fairness, it needs to be pointed out that the airplane was >50 years old.
A similar program did not develop for the civil 707 airliner. The DC-8, however, proved to be another, and more favorable matter. In the mid-1960s, Douglas had introduced 2 models of a “stretched” version of the DC-8 (the DC-8-61 and DC-8-63). These had better economic characteristics than the older models of the airplanes, and the “Super 63” (along with the more modestly-stretched DC-8-62) had considerably more range than their predecessors. United (UAL) signed up to convert 30 DC-8-61s; Delta (DAL) also converted its smaller fleet of the same type to the new DC-8-71 standard, with the 1st airplane entering service in 1982. Interestingly, this gave the DC-8 the distinction of being the only major non-wide body type to have extensive operations with engines from 3 manufacturers: Pratt & Whitney (PRW) and Rolls-Royce (RRC), in addition to (CFM).
Many DC-8-70s were given a new lease on life via conversion to freighters. United Parcel Service (UPS) became a particularly prolific operator, with over >40 of these airplanes in its fleet at one point. The last (UPS) DC-8 was retired in May 2009, and only a relatively small number of DC-8s are still in service (the last new delivery of a DC-8 was in 1972, to (SAS)).
So how has this turned out, to date? In 2008, the partnership was renewed through 2040, which provides at least a hint. Certainly its exclusive position on the 737, and strong market share on the A320 family provide further strong evidence of success. An excellent summary is provided by our colleagues at Penton’s Aviation Week in their October 13 issue:
Even in their most optimistic dreams, the founders of (CFM) International could never have guessed in 1974 the company would be marking its 40th anniversary by delivering the 27,000th (CFM56), let alone starting flight tests of the (Leap) successor engine.
At the time, (CFM) optimistically predicted as many as 3,000 engines would be built and sold by the 10th year of production. The forecast reasonably assumed a 40% market share, but turned out to be very wrong in most respects. Had its production trajectory been correct, (CFM) would be marking its 12,000th delivery around now (far less than half the actual number achieved).
November 2014: (GE) Aviation (GEC) has opened a new indoor jet engine test facility at its Peebles, Ohio site.
(GEC) said the $40 million facility will begin testing production engines by the end of this year. (GE90), (GEnx), (GE9X) and (LEAP) engines will all be tested at the new facility in southeastern Ohio.
“Since 2006, (GEC) has invested >$160 million in facilities expansion at Peebles to manage our growing volume of development engine and production engine testing, as well as final engine assembly of (GE90) and (GEnx) engines,” (GEC)’s Peebles Plant Leader Brian De Bruin said, noting that “the Peebles site will test 1,600 production engines along with 70 development engines, and will assemble and ship >500 engines from our assembly line.
December 2014: Boeing (TBC) has selected Aircelle (Safran) to produce titanium exhaust systems for the new 777X, marking the nacelle manufacturer’s 1st major supplier win with (TBC). These exhaust systems will equip the 777X’s 2 (GE9X) turbofan engines from (GE) Aviation (GEC).
(GE) Aviation (GEC) has been selected by Boeing (TBC) to provide the Common Core System (CCS) and the Enhanced Airborne Flight Recorder (EAFR) for the Boeing 777X airplane.
February 2015: News Item A-1: Boeing (TBC)’s new 777X flagship is due to enter service in 2020. This seems like tomorrow to the company’s manufacturing side as it prepares for assembly, but for the 777 sales team looking to fill the production “skyline” during the transition it could be an eternity.
To smooth the move at the end of the decade from the current 777 family to the 777X, Boeing (TBC) needs to drum up more sales to keep the Everett assembly line ticking at, or close to, the current 8.3 airplanes per month. There are currently 278 777-300ERs and 777Fs in the firm backlog, representing just <3 years worth of production at the current rate. While the longer-term outlook appears to be positive (286 sales are already locked in for the 777X) the delivery trough between 2018 and the acceleration in deliveries of the new model from the 2020 - 2022 time frame onward, is causing some concern.
But Boeing (TBC)’s 777 sales team is about to get a shot in the arm. To help bridge the gap to the 777X, the company plans to inject additional life into the 777-200LR/777-300ER by developing an upgrade package that will reduce fuel burn by -2% from 2016 onward.
Boeing (TBC) plans to reveal full details of the upgrade in mid-March. News of the plan first emerged in January when John Wojick, Global Sales & Marketing Senior VP, revealed “we are working on a fuel-burn improvement and other items for 2016 that will provide the equivalent of around 2% fuel-burn savings.” He added that although 2014 was “a good year” with 63 new 777 sales, “we need to continue to work diligently to keep that skyline full, as we transition from the 777-300ER and 777F to the 777-8X and 777-9X.”
The coming availability of the upgrade, added to what Boeing Chairman/(CEO) Jim McNerney describes as the “enduring capability” of the 777, already appears to be bolstering prospects of new orders to fill out the mid-term production slots. During the recent 4th-quarter financial results call, McNerney said: “We took 63 orders in 2014, which bodes well for the 40 to 60 we need [per year] over the next few years. So I’m feeling increasingly comfortable [about] the long-term demand for the airplane. We expect demand for the 777 to remain healthy through this decade.”
General Electric (GEe), which is the exclusive engine supplier to the 777-300ER/777F with the (GE90-115B), expects to start initial tests of the engine-improvement element by the end of the year. “We are targeting about a 0.5% specific fuel consumption (SFC) improvement in the engine,” said Bill Millhaem, General Manager of the (GE90) program. Focus areas include the aerodynamic “clean-up” of the fan module with elimination of steps and gaps to reduce drag, and improvements to the efficiency of the high-pressure compressor stage-1 blisk.
The most significant single change in the engine upgrade is an improvement to the active clearance control system which cools the casing of the high-pressure turbine section, helping to minimize clearances between the tips of the blades and the shroud during cruise. “We’re introducing a new style manifold and increasing the ‘muscle’ for better clearance control,” said Millhaem, who added that the revision leverages active-clearance-control-system advances that were introduced with the (GEnx) engine for the 787 and 747-8. The new manifold improves the axial coverage area of the cooling flow over the casing. In parallel with this, (GE) plans to reactivate a valve in the core to improve modulation of bleed air to the manifold.
Slight aerodynamic changes will also be introduced to the 1st-stage nozzle of the low-pressure turbine, and the “grind” of the high-pressure turbine shroud will also be optimized to improve the match between the blades and shrouds in cruise. “In aggregate, all this adds up to around 0.5% (SFC). We are in the process of finalizing the design of the hardware and will be doing some testing later this year,” said Millhaem.
The upgrade is not considered a major certification effort because the engine thrust is unchanged and testing is aimed at “mostly assurance” work to confirm that none of the modifications affect durability, he added.
March 2015: News Item A-1: A recent 777-300ER delivery to Cathay Pacific Airways (CAT) marks a major milestone between (GE) Aviation (GEC) and Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA). The airplane is powered by the 2000th (GE90) engine to Boeing for the 777.
"The (GE90) engine along with the Boeing 777 airplane helped revolutionize the twin-engine airplane concept in commercial aviation," said Bill Millhaem General Manager of the (GE90)/(GE9X) Program at (GE) Aviation (GEC). "Prior to its introduction, twin-engine airplanes were not viewed as a viable option for long-haul travel. Yet the proven performance and reliability of the (GE90)-powered Boeing 777 airplane altered this mindset and made the engine-airplane combination among the most successful long-range, wide body offering in service today."
Close to 70 operators utilize (GE90)-powered Boeing 777 airplanes, with the 2000th engine powering a Boeing 777-300ER. >500 (GE90) engines are on the order book, which continues to increase. "The customers love the airplane. It's a moneymaker for them. Which is the most important thing (that our customers make money and they like the airplane)" said Jim Petersen, Senior Chief Engineer of Propulsion for Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA).
The (GE90) engine family powers all 777 models and is the exclusive powerplant on the 777-300ER, 777-200LR, and 777F airplanes. Of the 2000 (GE90) engines delivered to date, >400 were the earlier (GE90-94B) model and almost 1600 were the (GE90-115B) engine, which is the world's most powerful jet engine. The family has accumulated >45 million flight hours and 7 million cycles since entering service in 1995.
The (GE90) engine features several technology firsts, including carbon fiber composite front fan blades, the world's largest front fan at 128 inches in diameter and the world-record setting thrust of 127,900 pounds during certification testing. The popular (GE90-115B) engine includes such performance-enhancing features as 3-dimensional aerodynamic (3-D aero) compressor and wide-chord, swept composite fan blades for greater efficiency. The dual annular combustor emits no more than 40% of the hydrocarbons allowed by today's international standards. In addition, today's (GE90-115B) engines have been enhanced to reduce fuel burn by -3.6% from the 2000 launch specifications.
The (GE90) engine provides the foundation for the new (GE9X) engine that will power the Boeing 777X. The (GE9X) engine will be in the 100,000 pound thrust class and features a 134-inch diameter composite fan case and 16 composite fan blades; a next-generation 27:1 pressure-ratio 11-stage high-pressure compressor; a 3rd-generation (TAPS) III combustor for high efficiency and low emissions; and (CMC) material in the combustor and turbine. Almost 700 (GE9X) engines have been ordered by customers since it was launched last year. Technology maturation testing on key components for the (GE9X) will continue this year with the 1st engine scheduled to test in 2016.
News Item A-2: As part of the (GE9X) engine development for the Boeing 777X, GE Aviation (GEC) has started ground tests on a (GEnx) engine containing ceramic matrix composite (CMC) components in the high pressure turbine and combustor.
The lightweight, heat-resistant (CMC) components will play an important role in the “hot section” of the (GE9X). (GE90)/(GE9X) Engine Programs VP, Bill Millhaem said, “The (GEnx) engine testing campaign, which began in late January, will allow us to demonstrate the functionality and durability of the full suite of (CMC) hot section components and help the team lock down the final design for the new (GE9X) engine by mid-2015.”
The testing is occurring at (GEC)’s Peebles, Ohio facility. “(CMC)s are made of silicon carbide ceramic fibers and ceramic resin, manufactured through a highly sophisticated process and further enhanced with proprietary coatings,” (GEC) said. “(CMC) components are ultra-lightweight with one-third the density of metal, providing weight reduction that enables better fuel efficiency. (CMC) material is more durable and allows engines to stay on wing longer. The material is also more heat-resistant than metals and requires 20% less cooling air, which improves overall engine efficiency.”
May 2015: News Item A-1: (GE) Aviation (GEC) and Woodward Inc have formed a 50/50 joint venture (JV) to design, develop, source, supply and service fuel systems for (GE90), (GEnx), (GE9X) and future (GE) large commercial engines.
(GEC) President & (CEO) David Joyce said the joint venture (JV) will “further strengthen both companies’ capabilities and secure a high quality fuel systems supplier for (GE)’s record production volume on large commercial engines.”
According to (GE) Aviation, production rates for its jet engines and components have increased significantly over the last 5 years, with large commercial engine production more than doubling to close to 500 engines in 2015. With a backlog of >1,600 high-thrust engines like the (GE90), (GEnx) and (GE9X), the high production rates will continue well into the future.
Woodward Chairman & (CEO) Tom Gendron said he believes the joint venture (JV) structure “will leverage both company’s respective strengths and optimize fuel system performance.”
(GEC) said that under terms of the (JV) agreement, Woodward will receive $250 million in cash, and the parties will participate jointly in the operating results of the respective programs. Completion of the transaction is subject only to customary regulatory approvals, and it is expected to close near the end of calendar 2015.
News Item A-2: The (CFM) International (LEAP-1B) engine that will exclusively power the re-engined Boeing 737 MAX is now in flight testing. Boeing (TBC) and (CFMI) said that flight testing began April 29 on a modified 747 flying testbed at (GEC)’s flight testing center in Victorville, California. “The testing is the next major milestone in a 2-year program that will culminate in engine certification in 2016 and delivery of the 1st Boeing 737 MAX in 2017,” Boeing (TBC) and (CFMI) said.
The engine “performed well and completed multiple aeromechanical test points at various altitudes during the 5 hour 30 minute 1st flight,” (TBC) and (CFMI) said. (CFMI) is a joint venture (JV) between (GE) Aviation (GEC) and Snecma.
Boeing VP and General Manager 737 MAX Program, Keith Leverkuhn said, “The 737 MAX is on track to deliver +14% more fuel efficiency than today’s most efficient Next-Generation 737s and +20% more efficiency than the 1st Next-Generation 737s to enter service.”
(CFMI) plans a “comprehensive test schedule” over the next several weeks “that will gauge engine operability, stall margin, performance, emissions and acoustics,” Boeing (TBC) and (CFMI) said.
News Item A-3: The (CFM) International (CFMI) (LEAP-1A)-powered Airbus A320neo achieved 1st flight in France.
The (LEAP-1A) is 1 of 2 engine choices on the re-engined Airbus narrow body. The Pratt & Whitney (PRW) (PW1100G)-powered A320neo achieved 1st flight in September 2014. The (LEAP-1A)-powered A320neo flew May 19th from Toulouse-Blagnac Airport for 4 hours and 25 min. “The engines performed extremely well throughout the flight envelope,” (CFMI), a (GE) Aviation/Snecma joint venture (JV) said.
The (CFMI) (LEAP-1B) is the sole-source engine for the Boeing 737 MAX; it flew for the 1st time on a 747 flying testbed in April.
(CFMI) said the (LEAP-1A)-powered A320neo is on track to enter commercial service in 2016. “Nearly 60% of the required engine certification reports have been submitted and approved to date” by the (FAA) and (EASA), (CFMI) said.
News Item A-4: (GE) Aviation (GEC) has broken ground on a new 55,000 sq ft expansion at its facility in Hooksett, New Hampshire. The $50 million investment will increase capacity driven by a record backlog in its commercial engines business.
October 2015: News Item A-1: (GE) Aviation (GEC) is investing >$200 million to build 2 factories in Huntsville, Alabama to mass-produce silicon carbide (SiC) materials necessary for manufacturing (CMC)s; facility is to be operational by 2018. When the factories are operational later this decade, they are expected to employ up to 300 people.
News Item A-2: (GE) Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) (GEC) announced a purchase-and-leaseback transaction with Malindo Airways (MXD) for 6 new Boeing 737-800s. 4 have delivered and the remaining 2 are scheduled for delivery in October. (MXD), headquartered in Malaysia, currently operates a fleet of 24 airplanes to >30 destinations.
November 2015: News Item A-1: (GE) Aviation announced FedEx Express (FED), a wholly owned subsidiary of FedEx Corporation, selected (GE)’s (CF6-80C2) engines to power its recent order of 50 767Fs. Deliveries for this order are scheduled to begin in 2018.
News Item A-2: (GE) Aviation (GEC) was selected by Royal Air Maroc (RAM) for a 5-year exclusive OnPointSM solution agreement for the time and material to maintain, repair and overhaul its (CF6-80C2) engines that power its 4 767s. Also, (GEC) opened its Middle East Aviation Technology Center to support customers’ operations by leveraging data analytics, domain experience and software capabilities to increase productivity, maximize performance and minimize down time for customers using (GE)’s platform for the Industrial Internet.
News Item A-3: The (CFM) International (LEAP-1A) engine, 1 of 2 engine choices on the Airbus A320neo, has been jointly certified by the (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
Airbus (EDS) is set to deliver the 1st A320neo (powered by Pratt & Whitney (PRW) (PW1100G) engines) to Qatar Airways (QTA) next month. The (LEAP-1A)-powered A320neo began flight testing in May. “It has been an incredible journey for the entire (CFM) team to get the engine to this point,” (CFM) Executive VP Francois Bastin said, adding, “The (LEAP) engine includes many industry 1st technologies and the agencies have worked with us from the beginning to validate the certification plan for these advancements.”
The (CFM) (LEAP-1B) is the sole-source engine for the Boeing 737 MAX; it flew for the 1st time on a 747 flying testbed in April. (CFM) is a joint venture (jv) between (GE) Aviation (GEC) and Snecma.
Two (LEAP-1A)-powered A320neo flight test aircraft have totaled >140 flights spanning 360 hours of flight testing. (CFM) Executive VP Allen Paxson said “The (LEAP-1A) is doing extremely well in flight tests on the A320neo; the reliability we designed for this engine is definitely there.”
News Item A-4: Emirates (EAD) signed a $16 billion, 12-year OnPoint engine services deal with GE Aviation (GEC) for 300 (GE9X)s that will power (EAD)’s 150 Boeing 777Xs, plus a 2nd 12-year service contract for existing 777s valued at $36 million. The $36-million contract covers maintenance and inventory for avionics, electrical power and mechanical systems on 100 777s in service and 44 on order.
And Mubadala and (GE) have agreed to form a (GEnx) Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) facility at Nibras Al Ain Aerospace Park. (GEC) will also establish a parts logistics center to service the (JV) and regional (GEnx) operators.
News Item A-5: "(EVA) Airways Finalizes Order for Up to 24 Boeing 787-10s, 2 777-300ERs" by (ATW) Victoria Moores, November 24, 2015.
(EVA) Airways has finalized an order for up to 24 (GEnx-1B)-powered Boeing 787-10s and 2 (GE90-115B)-powered 777-300ERs, valued at >$8 billion at current list prices.
(EVA) Airways announced a commitment for the airplanes on October 15 and firmed up the order during an official ceremony in Taipei on November 24. “These planes will support our growth well into the future,” (EVA) Airways President Austin Cheng said.
The 26 airplanes will be delivered between 2017 and 2022, helping (EVA) hit its objective to operate >100 airplanes by 2020. They will be used to gradually replace older airplanes and to add new frequencies and destinations.
“These new 787-10 Dreamliners will allow (EVA) to expand into new markets. They will be deployed on medium-range and long-haul flights, and will be operated in tandem with the 777-300ERs to form the backbone of (EVA) Airways' fleet,” Boeing (TBC) said.
(EVA) Airways, which was involved in the development of the 777-300ER, became a launch customer for the variant in 2005. It is the 8th largest 777-300ER operator worldwide and the 4th largest in Asia. “From that 1st delivery through today, we operate 22 of these high-performance long-haul airplanes. We believe the future of the airline industry will be built on fuel efficiency and cabin comfort. The new Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner’s high fuel efficiency and long-range flying capabilities meets these requirements and our operational needs,” Cheng said.
Along with the new engines, (GE) Aviation (GEC) said (EVA) Air signed 12-year "OnPointSM" solution agreements for the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) of its (GEnx-1B) and (GE90-115B) engine fleet. The new engines and OnPoint solution agreements are valued at >$2 billion at list prices for the engine and over the life of the service agreements.
(EVA) Airways operates >40 Boeing airplanes and this order increases its backlog to 37 units: 14 777-300ERs, 5 777Fs, and 18 787-10s.
News Item A-6: (GE) Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) (GEF) has signed an agreement with Virgin America (VUS) to lease 10 new A321neos. The aircraft, which will be powered by (CFM)’s (LEAP-1A) engines, will expand (VUS)’ fleet. The 1st aircraft is scheduled for delivery in (1Q) 2017 and the remainder will deliver in 2017 and 2018. All 10 aircraft are part of (GECAS)’ existing orderbook with Airbus (EDS).
(VUS) President & (CEO), David Cush said, “Not only will these aircraft allow us to further reduce our unit costs and improve our revenue position, they demonstrate our continued commitment to reducing carbon emissions and creating an even more sustainable airline.”
San Francisco-based, Virgin America (VUS) currently operates a fleet of >55 aircraft to >20 destinations in the USA and Mexico.
December 2015: (GE) Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) (GEC) completed a purchase-and-leaseback transaction involving 2 new Airbus A350-900 XWB aircraft with Finnair (FIN). The aircraft delivered in October and December and are part of (FIN)’s long-haul fleet renewal program.
February 2016: News Item A-1: (GE) Aviation (GEC) said final assembly is well underway on the first full (GE9X) engine that will test in the 1st half of 2016, 4 years before the (GE9X) engine enters service on a Boeing 777X airplane.
“The first engine to test (FETT) wraps up the extensive technology maturation program for the (GE9X) engine program, which began almost five years ago and has included component-level, system-level and core demo testing to validate the advanced technologies and materials in the new engine,” (GEC) said. “(FETT) brings all the technologies together to demonstrate their operability as a complete propulsion system as well as provide early information on the engine’s aerodynamic and thermal characteristics.”
(GEC) said the second (GE9X) engine is scheduled to test in 2017, along with flight testing on (GE) Aviation’s flying test bed. “This timing assures all learnings from (FETT) will be captured in all certification engines. Engine certification is anticipated in 2018.”
(GEC) said it has nearly 700 (GE9X) engines on order.
Other participants in the (GE9X) program are: (IHI) Corporation, Snecma and Techspace Aero (Safran), and (MTU) Aero Engines AG.
News Item A-2: (GE) Aviation (GEC) has signed a 15-year OnPoint materials support contract with China Airlines (CHI) covering the (CF6-80E)s powering its A330s. (GEC) will supply new parts, component repairs and used serviceable material and will have on-site staff managing material requirements, availability and logistics.
March 2016: (GE) Aviation (GEC) created a digital organization that brings all of the digital expertise from across aviation into 1 business. This new digital business will be led by Jim Daily as President & Chief Digital Officer, Engineering & Technology for (GE) Aviation (GEC).
April 2016: (GE) Aviation (GEC) is ground testing the first full (GE9X) development engine at its Peebles Testing Operation in Ohio. The (GE9X) engine will power Boeing (TBC)’s new 777X.
(GE) General Manager (GE90)/(GE9X) Engine Programs Bill Millhaem said the ground testing will “generate data on the full engine system and aerodynamic performance, mechanical verification, and aero thermal system validation.”
Maturation testing of the (GE9X) engine began about 5 years ago and has progressed “from component-level all the way to the 1st full engine to test (FETT),” (GE) said. “(FETT) brings all the (GE9X) technologies together to demonstrate their operability as a complete propulsion system.”
Compared to other engine programs, (GE) said the (GE9X) (FETT) “happened earlier in the development process, just a mere 6 months after the engine design was finalized. This timing assures all learnings from (FETT) will be captured in the certification engines.”
Next year, the (GE9X) program begins certification and flight testing on (GE) Aviation (GEC)’s flying test bed. “Engine certification is anticipated in 2018,” (GE) said.
July 2016: News Item A-1: (GE) Aviation (GEC) has expanded its "TrueChoice" contract with Southwest Airlines (SWA) to include (CFM56-7B) engines powering (SWA)’s fleet of 83 737-700 and 737-800s.
The engine type is added to the existing TrueChoice FlightHour agreement covering >1,400 (CFM56-7B) engines operated across (SWA)’s fleet.
Kevin McAllister, President & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of (GE) Engine Services, said the expanded cooperation is demonstration of (SWA)’s confidence in its Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) capabilities.
Part of the TrueChoice suite, the FlightHour offering aims to optimise airline ownership costs over an engine’s whole lifecycle and includes flexible risk transfer and payment options.
News Item A-2: "(GE) Aviation And Flydubai Develop New Digital App On Predix" by MRO-Network.com 2016-07.
(GE) Aviation (GEC) unveiled 1 of the 1st digital customer solutions built on its Predix software platform, an application developed through a collaboration with flydubai (FDB).
(GEC) worked with (FDB) on the network operations insights application at its 1st data analytics center in Dubai, which was opened last year. (FDB) implemented the platform at the end of June and will use it across its all-737 fleet to minimize airplane delays, improve pilot (FC) operational understanding and manage scheduling and revenues in a real-time setting.
Along with the center in Dubai, the USA engine specialist opened its second data collaboration center in Paris in mid-June, which it will run in conjunction with (GE) Digital. It plans to open +2 more centers this year; the 1st in Shanghai on July 20 which will also be operated in conjunction with (GE)’s digital business and the other in Austin, Texas later this summer, which (GE) Aviation (GEC) will run independently as its digital headquarters for aviation.
Jim Daily, (GEC)’s VP & Chief Digital Officer for Engineering & Technology, said the engine maker would ideally like to set up another collaboration center in Southeast Asia in 2017, with the exact location still to be decided.
“When looking at the region and where our customers are, it makes sense to put a center there,” Daily said. “Ideally I’d like to identify a specific location this year before setting up sometime in 2017.”
Daily also revealed that (GE)’s aviation arm is exploring ways to further grow its ties with (GE) Digital with opportunities for crossover collaborations through its Predix platform. “We’re trying to do as much as we can in conjunction with (GE) Digital. While there are instances unique to aviation, there’s also room for a lot of crossover and the Predix platform was designed with this mind,” he said.
News Item A-3: Japanese manufacturer (IHI) and France’s Safran group have been confirmed as participants in the (GE9X) engine program, which concerns the powerplant for the forthcoming 777X. (IHI) is responsible for the design and manufacturing of components in the low-pressure turbine and the fan mid-shaft, while Safran oversees the same for the composite forward fan case and the turbine rear frame.
Meanwhile (CFAN) (a (GE) - Safran joint venture (JV)) is producing the composite fan blades for the engine. External suppliers, which also include (MTU) Aero Engines, will provide a quarter of components for the (GE9X).
"These participants contributed to the successful start of the (GE9X) 1st engine to test 2 days ahead of schedule and the combined technologies of (GE) and our participants have performed extremely well,” said Bill Fitzgerald VP of (GE) Aviation (GEC)'s Commercial Engine Operation.
(GE9X) certification is expected in 2018.
October 2016: (GE) Aviation earned $1.5 billion on $6.3 billion in sales for (3Q) 2016 vs $1.35 billion on $6 billion in (3Q) 2015, and delivered 729 commercial aviation engines, including 22 (LEAP) engines, compared to 675 a year ago.
November 2016: News Item A-1: "(CFM) Prepares for ‘Scary’ Production Ramp-up On (LEAP) Program" by (ATW) Aaron Karp firstname.lastname@example.org, November 11, 2016.
(GE) Aviation and its (CFM) International joint venture (JV) partner, Safran Aircraft Engines, face a “scary, daunting” production ramp-up on the (LEAP) engine program, but remain confident they will meet ambitious production targets, a senior (GE) executive said.
During a November 10 briefing at (GE)’s new aircraft engine manufacturing plant in Lafayette, Indiana, (GE) (LEAP) Manufacturing Program Director Cristina Seda-Hoelle explained that (CFM) has taken extensive preparatory steps to ensure a successful ramp-up, which includes a fast-escalating production rate unprecedented for (GE) or Safran.
(CFM) will produce about 100 (LEAP) engines this year. But with the (LEAP-1B)-powered Boeing 737 MAX entering service next year, and (LEAP-1A)-powered Airbus A320neos already in service, >500 (LEAP) engines are expected to be produced in 2017. That number will more than double to about 1,100 (LEAP) engines in 2018.
“It’s a lot beyond what we’ve done in the past,” Seda-Hoelle conceded. “It is quite a ramp to get there. We’re confident our teams will execute.”
In addition to Turkey’s Pegasus Airlines (PGS) (the launch customer for the (LEAP-1A)-powered A320neo) Malaysia’s AirAsia (ASW), Avianca Brasil (SOL), Azul Brazilian Airlines (AZL), (SAS) Scandinavian Airlines, and Denver-based Frontier Airlines (FRO) have all received at least one (LEAP-1A)-powered A320neo.
There are also 4 (LEAP-1B)-powered 737 MAX aircraft in flight testing, one of which Southwest Airlines (SWA) recently used to simulate airline operations over a 5 to 6 day period, according to (GE). The 737 MAX, which is exclusively powered by the (LEAP-1B), is set to enter service with (SWA) in mid-2017.
(GE)’s Lafayette facility, which started producing (LEAP) engines in March, is 1 of 3 plants where (LEAP) engines are being built. Currently, the Lafayette facility is producing (LEAP-1A) engine cores and conducting (LEAP-1B) final assembly. A Durham, North Carolina (GE) factory and a Safran facility in Villaroche, France, round out the (LEAP) assembly sites. The Lafayette facility also serves as the (LEAP) entry-into-service (EIS) maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) site.
(GE) and Safran have invested $1 billion just on adding 1.5 million square feet of manufacturing space for (LEAP) production.
What makes the (LEAP) production ramp-up even more challenging is that 75% of the engine’s parts are outsourced. Seda-Hoelle said (LEAP) suppliers had to endure a “pretty rigorous” on site assessment, adding, “We said [to potential (LEAP) suppliers], look, if you want a ticket to the game, you better be ready.”
To protect itself, (CFM) has double or triple sourced 80% of the (LEAP) engine’s outsourced parts. “If you have one source fall down, you’ve got to have a back-up plan,” Seda-Hoelle said, adding, “The ramp is just so quick you have to make sure that as you move from one step to another, you can keep up with the rates.”
(GE) rival Pratt & Whitney (PRW), which competes with (CFM) on the A320neo with a variant of its geared turbofan (GTF) engine, has had to cut planned (GTF) output this year because of production ramp-up issues, providing a cautionary tale for (CFM). The (GE)/Safran (JV) delivered its 1st A320neo engine >6 months after (PRW), which is further into its production ramp-up.
“Both Safran and (GE) put a readiness structure in place,” Seda-Hoelle said. “But now we’re in production, where the rubber hits the road.”
News Item A-2: "(GE) and (COMAC) Sign Digital Collaboration (MOU)" by
China Aviation Daily, November 15, 2016.
(GE) Aviation (GEC) and (COMAC) announced that they signed an (MOU) on digital collaboration. This agreement brings the cooperation between (COMAC) and (GEC) to a new level from the aircraft engines and systems to now broadening their relationship to the use data and analytics to bring greater operational efficiency to their operations.
Wu Guanghui, VP of (COMAC) (CCC) and Weiming Xiang, President of GE Aviation Greater China signed the (MOU), witness by President He Dongfeng of (COMAC) (CCC) and Chaker Chahrour, VP & General Manager Global Sales & Marketing (GE) Aviation.
Under the agreement, (COMAC) (CCC) and (GEC) plan to jointly explore and collaborate on digital solutions and applications on customer & product support monitoring & diagnostics, Intelligent Aircraft and Brilliant Manufacturing. The 2 companies will set up a joint team to launch pilot projects based on an earlier outcome based workshop and exchanges to verify the technical trends for further collaboration.
"This agreement with (COMAC) (CCC) will enable our teams of software architects and aviation domain experts to jointly develop digital solutions at (GE)'s Shanghai digital collaboration center," said Jim Daily, VP & Chief Digital Officer for (GE) Aviation. "The partnership between (COMAC) and (GE) will result in digital solutions that will transform (COMAC)'s operations all the way from brilliant manufacturing to advanced flight analytics to comprehensive fleet operations support."
Through the partnership, data scientists, software developers and architects from (GE) and (COMAC) plan to work together to refine some of the ten billion data points produced by the aviation sector annually into solutions that can achieve greater fleet intelligence and operational insights.
In the past year, (GE) has opened collaboration centers in Shanghai, Dubai, Austin and Paris, connecting data, developers and Predix, the world's 1st and only cloud-based operating system built exclusively for industry. Predix is powering innovative Industrial Internet apps that turn operational data into insight for better and faster decision making.
Today, nearly 100 airlines covering >10,000 aircraft are (GE) Aviation Digital Solutions' customers for such services as flight and fuel analytics, navigation services, airline operations management, plus planning and recovery.
(GE) is the world's Digital Industrial Company, transforming industry with software-defined machines and solutions that are connected, responsive and predictive. (GE) is organized around a global exchange of knowledge, the "(GE) Store," where each business shares and accesses the same technology, markets, structure and intellect. Each invention further fuels innovation and application across our industrial sectors. With people, services, technology and scale, (GE) delivers better outcomes for customers by speaking the language of industry.
December 2016: News Item A-1: Lufthansa Technik (DLH) (LTK) and (GE) Aviation (GEC) selected the Legnica Special Economic Zone in Sroda Slaska, Poland as the site for its Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) joint venture (JV) for (GEnx-2B) and (GE9X) engines. The (JV), called "XEOS," will invest about $267 million in the new facility.
Ground breaking on the 350,000 sq ft facility will begin in spring 2017, and the facility will open in September 2018 with capability to test and repair (GEnx-2B) engines that power the Boeing 747-8 airplane for Lufthansa (DLH) and other airlines. It will operate for at least 30 years and create some 600 jobs.
(MRO) capabilities for the (GE9X), which powers the Boeing 777X airplane, will be available in 2021.
News Item A-2: The (CFM) International (LEAP-1C) engine, which will power the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (CCC) (COMAC) C919, has gained type certification from both the (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
The dual certification comes ahead of the C919’s 1st flight, which is expected to occur in 2017. The (LEAP-1C) is the sole-source Western engine for the aircraft. There is also supposed to be a domestically produced engine option for the narrow body aircraft, but the (LEAP-1C) is expected to power the flight test aircraft and at least the initial batch of C919s delivered to airlines.
(CFM) is a joint venture (JV) between (GE) Aviation (GEC) and Safran.
“The (LEAP-1C) is the only model for which (CFM) provides a totally integrated propulsion system that includes the engine, nacelle and thrust reverser,” (CFM) Executive VP Francois Bastin said, adding that “as a result, the (LEAP-1C) features improved aerodynamics, lower weight and easier maintenance.”
The (LEAP-1C) completed a flight test program in late 2014. It was affixed to a (GE) Aviation (GEC) Boeing 747 flying testbed based in Victorville, California, for the program.
The (LEAP-1A) powering the Airbus A320neo was certified by the (FAA) and (EASA) in November 2015. The (LEAP-1B) powering the Boeing 737 MAX was certified by the (FAA) and (EASA) in May 2016.
News Item A-3: In December 2016, (S7) Airlines (SBR) agreed to lease 17 used Embraer E170s from (GE) Capital Aviation Services (GEC). The 1st aircraft will be delivered in the spring.
February 2017: (GE) Aviation (GEC) plans to start testing this summer on a high pressure compressor (HPC) rig for the (GE9X) engine designated for the Boeing 777X.
March 2017: "The (CFM) International (LEAP-1A)-powered Airbus A321neo has gained type certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the (FAA).
The certification was the 4th in 15 months for re-engined Airbus (EDS) narrow body aircraft. The A320neo has been certified with both the (LEAP-1A) and Pratt & Whitney (PW1100G) geared turbofan (GTF) engines and the A321neo with (GTF) engines was certified in December 2016.
The (LEAP-1A)-powered A321neo achieved certification following 160 test flights totaling >400 flight hours, according to Airbus (EDS), adding, “The tests validated the aircraft airframe and systems well beyond their design limits to meet all airworthiness criteria.”
The 1st A320neo powered by (CFM) engines entered service in July 2016. “The (LEAP-1A) entry into service on the A320neo has been incredibly smooth,” (CFM) President and (CEO) Gaël Méheust said, citing “fuel efficiency, reliability and low noise.”
(CFM) is a 50/50 joint venture between (GE) Aviation (GEC) and Safran Aircraft Engines.
April 2017: (GE) Aviation (GEC) earned $1.68 billion on $6.8 billion in revenues in (1Q) 2017 compared to $1.52 billion on $6.3 billion in (1Q) 2016.
October 2017: (GE) Aviation (GEC) has a 12-year, $1.7 billion Singapore Airlines (SIA) contract to maintain 45 (GE9X)s (for 20 Boeing 777-9s).
February 2018: "The (FAA) Warns About Pratt & Whitney (PW-1100) Engine Shutdown Risk on Airbus A320neo Jets" by Rob Vogelaar of "Reuters" February 14, 2018.
The (FAA) formal warning follows a similar action by European regulators on February 9 and cites a "knife edge seal fracture" in the engine that could lead to an engine stall and consequent in-flight shutdown and rejected takeoffs, the (FAA) said in an Airworthiness Directive (AD).
The warnings mark the latest in a string of issues that have clouded the rollout of (PRW)'s new engines, which compete with market-leader (CFM) International, a joint venture of the General Electric Company (GEC) and Safran S A of France.
A total of 98 engines could be affected with 43 confirmed to have the problem and the rest possibly affected, (PRW) said.
(PRW) has not halted production or delivery of engines, not similar (PRW) engines for Bombardier (BMB), Embraer (EMB) or Mitsubishi (MSG) jets.
Airbus (EDS) has halted delivery of A320neos after delivery of 113 of them. It was not clear which airlines had the largest A320neos fleets. Industry sources did say 20 A320neos had been grounded by airlines because of the problem.
March 2018: News Item A-1: (CFM) International recently announced that Sébastien Imbourg has been named Executive VP, replacing François Bastin.
Mr Bastin, who had served in the role since February 2015, has been appointed Executive VP of Commercial Engine Programs for Safran Aircraft Engines.
As part of the (CFM) Executive Team, Mr Imbourg is responsible for overseeing programs carried out by the (CFM) joint venture. Along with his counterpart at (GE), Allen Paxson, he will also serve as the primary interface between the 2 companies. Within Safran Aircraft Engines, Mr Imbourg is General Manager of the (CFM) Project department.
Mr Imbourg began his career at Snecma, now Safran Aircraft Engines (SAE), in 1998 as part of the Commercial Turbine Design team in the Engineering division. From 2007 to 2010, he served as Chief Engineer for the PowerJet (SaM146) engine, where he led the certification efforts for that program. In early 2011, he was named Head Snecma's Continuous Improvement department, before returning to the Engineering division as Head of the Design office.
From 2015 until this latest appointment, Mr Imbourg was (LEAP) Program Director within Safran Aircraft Engines' Commercial Engine division.
Mr Imbourg is a graduate of the National Institute of Applied Science (INSA) in Lyon, France and holds a Diploma of Profound Studies post-graduate degree in Mechanical Engineering.
(CFM) International (CFM), the 50/50 joint company between (GE) (GEC) and Safran Aircraft Engines, is headquartered in West Chester, Ohio, near Cincinnati. (CFM) has delivered nearly 33,000 (CFM56) and (LEAP) engines to date, making it one of the most successful aircraft engine suppliers in history. The company was formed in 1974 and the current agreement extends to the year 2040.
News Item A-2: Bill Dwyer leads the Marketing team for (GE) Aviation Services, with responsibilities for services strategy, product definition and go-to-market plans for engine materials, repair & overhaul. His prior roles include: General Manager Engine Service Marketing for (GE) Aviation (GEC), President of (GE) Honda, a (JV) collaboration with Honda to develop and market light jet engines, General Manager of Product Planning for Military Systems, and (P&L) leader for the F404 Program. He also served as Master Blackbelt, Sales & Marketing leader for industrial engines based in SE Asia, and as a Systems Engineer.
Bill has Engineering degrees from the University of Wisconsin and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
October 2018: (GE) Aviation (GEC) plans to invest US $80 million in
(GE) Engine Services Malaysia, which includes long-term tenancy agreement with Impeccable Vintage Properties (IVP) to support a plan to invest in tooling, testing and skills capabilities to support (LEAP) Engines Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO).
November 2018: "GOODBYE OLD GIRL: The oldest 747 is making its last flight tonight" by Kian McVickers, Avi8News, November 15, 2018.
The oldest 747 (see photo) still to fly is making it's very last flight tonight from Victorville to Tucson. This aircraft is set to be retired after operating for PanAm and most recently General Electric.
The (GE) team used the 747 as an engine test-bed and after 48 years in the skies (N747GE) will touch down for the very last time this evening (November 15, 2018). Goodbye to another Queen of the skies.
Article by Kian McVicker from "Miles To Go" Aviation Blogging.
The "Queen of the Skies" took her last flight from Victorville on November 19 to her new home at Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson.
This 747 airframe (N747GE) flew a total of 90,000 hours and 19,251 cycles. The airplane was the oldest 747 in active service (48.7 years), rolling off the assembly line on October 17, 1969 and making its 1st flight with Pan Am on March 3, 1970.
Click below for photos:
GEC-747-100 - 2009-03
GEC-747-100 N747GE - 2017-08.jpg
GEC-747-400 - 2014-08
1 707-321 (JT3D-3B HK) (122-17608, /60 48 18 N707GE), EX-(PAA)/(IAL).
1 747-121 (25-19651, /70 86 18 N747GE - - SEE PHOTO - - "GEC-747-2009-03"), EX-(PAA), (GEF) LEASED.
1 747-400 FLYING TESTBED (SEE PHOTO - - "GEC-747-400 - 2014-08").
Click below for photos:
GEC-1-DAVID JOYCE CEO-2008-07
GEC-2-Andrew Coleman 2018-01.jpg
GEC-2-Bill Dwyer 2018-01.jpg
GEC-4-Sebastien Imbourg 2018-03.jpg
GEC-6-KATHY MACKENZIE - 2013-08
GEC-7-Mithun Biswas 2018-10.jpg
GEC-9-Rudy Bryce 2018-10.jpg
JEFFREY IMMELT, GENERAL ELECTRIC (GE) AVIATION CHAIRMAN & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CEO).
NORMAN LIU, CHAIRMAN (GE) CAPITAL AVIATION SERVICES (GEF), RETIRED (2016-12).
Norman C T Liu was Chairman of (GE) CAPITAL AVIATION SERVICES (GECAS) (GEF) until late 2016 when he retired.
DEAN ATHANS, PRESIDENT (GEC)/(PRATT & WHITNEY) (JV) ENGINE ALLIANCE (2013-02).
DAVID JOYCE, PRESIDENT & (CEO), GE AVIATION (GEC) (2008-07).
Joyce has been VP Commercial Engines since 2003 and is a 21-year veteran of (GE)'s engine business. He is the first insider chosen to run the unit since the late Brian Rowe, who retired in 1993.
"David is one of the best aviation minds in the world," (GE) Chairman & (CEO), Jeff Immelt said. "He knows the technology, he knows the people and issues in the industry, and he knows what customers need." As General Manager of the small commercial engine operation, Joyce led (GE)'s successful bid to power China's ARJ21 regional jet. He also oversaw the certification program for the (CF34-8) for the CRJ900 and EMB-170/175. He joined (GE) in 1980 as a Product Engineer and spent 15 years in design and development of commercial and military engines.
ALEC BURGER, PRESIDENT & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CEO) (GE) CAPITAL AVIATION SERVICES (GECAS) (GEF) (2016-01).
Alec is a 25-year (GE) veteran, including 15 years at (GE) Capital Real Estate, where he formerly served as President & (CEO). Alec joined Real Estate in 2000 as VP Business Development, where he led a number of major strategic real estate acquisitions. In 2002 he was named Managing Director of (GE) Capital Real Estate’s UK unit, and in 2007 became VP North America.
“Alec has tremendous commercial skills, including a keen external focus and a track record of building strong customer relationships,” (GE) Capital Chairman & (CEO), Keith Sherin said. “He’s a terrific leader known for driving growth, developing talented teams and has a proven record of building (GE) Capital’s businesses across the globe. His structured finance skills and global mindset will serve him well in his new role at (GECAS).”
Alec succeeded Norman C T Liu, who will stay on as Chairman of (GECAS) (GEC) until late 2016, when he will retire.
MS LORRAINE BOLSINGER, PRESIDENT & (CEO), (GE) AVIATION SYSTEMS (2008-10).
WEIMING XIANG, PRESIDENT GE AVIATION GREATER CHINA.
JIM DAILEY, PRESIDENT & CHIEF DIGITAL OFFICER, ENGINEERING & TECHNOLOGY (2016-03).
DAVID CALHOUN, (CEO), (GE) AIRCRAFT ENGINES (GEC).
KEVIN MCALLISTER, PRESIDENT & (CEO), (GE) ENGINE SERVICES, MOVED TO BECOME (CEO) OF THE BOEING COMPANY.
SCOTT DONNELLY, PRESIDENT & (CEO), (GE) AVIATION (GEC).
JEAN-PAUL EBANGA, PRESIDENT & (CEO) (CFM) INTERNATIONAL (2011-01).
Ebanga joined Snecma in 1988, and most recently served as Chairman & CEO of PowerJet, the engine (JV) between Snecma and Saturn (Russia), after serving as VP of Snecma’s Commercial Engine Division. “His assignments at Snecma have included leadership positions in electronics, systems and aircraft engines,” (CFM) said.
JOHN ARMENDAREZ, PRESIDENT AVIONICS.
RICH GREENER, SENIOR VP CARGO PROGRAMS (2016-01).
ANDREW COLEMAN, DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS LEADER GE AVIATION (GEC).
Andrew Coleman serves as the Commercial Leader for (GE) Aviation (GEC)’s digital business. In this role, he leads a team focused on the global commercial aviation industry as well as the military, federal, maintenance repair and overhaul, and aviation lessor industry segments. (GE) Aviation’s Digital Business supports global aviation with a broad range of Industrial Internet applications ranging from fuel efficiency, operations recovery, flight analytics, intelligent fleet, edge analytics, avionics, predictive maintenance, digital (MRO), and asset performance management. As the commercial leader, Andrew is responsible globally for sales, marketing, consulting, alliances, customer success, solution architecture, business development, and customer support.
BILL DWYER, Marketing Leader, (GE) AVIATION.
Bill leads the Marketing team for GE Aviation Services, with responsibilities for services strategy, product definition and go to market plans for engine materials, repair & overhaul. His prior roles include: General Manager Engine Service Marketing for (GE) Aviation (GEC), President of GE Honda, a (JV) collaboration with Honda to develop and market light jet engines, General Manager of Product Planning for Military Systems, and (P&L) leader for the F404 Program. He also served as Master Blackbelt, Sales & Marketing leader for industrial engines based in SE Asia, and as a Systems Engineer.
Bill has Engineering degrees from the University of Wisconsin and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
JIM DAILY, VP & CHIEF DIGITAL OFFICER (CDO), ENGINEERING & TECHNOLOGY, (GE) AVIATION.
HERB DEPP, VP (GE) AVIATION OPERATIONS (2002-01).
BILL FITZGERALD, VP OF (GE) AVIATION (GEC) COMMERCIAL ENGINE OPERATION.
CHAKER CHAHROUR, VP & GENERAL MANAGER GLOBAL SALES & MARKETING (GE) AVIATION.
BILL MILLHAEM, GENERAL MANAGER (GE90)/(GE9X) ENGINE PROGRAM.
RODOLFO "RUDY" BRYCE, GENERAL MANAGER LATIN AMERICA & CARIBBEAN, (GE) AVIATION (GEC)/(CFM) INTERNATIONAL.
MS KAREN TRIPP, GENERAL MANAGER GLOBAL COMMUNICATIONS (2002-08).
TONY AIELLO, GENERAL MANAGER (GE90) PROGRAM.
BOB MCEWAN, GENERAL MANAGER NEW PRODUCT INTRO.
STEVE WALTERS, GENERAL MANAGER MECHANICAL SYSTEMS BUSINESS (2013-06).
MS KATHY MACKENZIE, GENERAL MANAGER MATURE FLEET STRATEGY.
LIAM CRAVEN, SENIOR VP TECHNICAL, (GE) CAPITAL AVIATION SERVICES.
STEVE FLUDDER, VP SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS STRATEGY UNIT (2008-10).
MS COLLEEN ATHANS, VP & GENERAL MANAGER SUPPLY CHAIN.
SID ASHWORTH, VP WASHINGTON DC OPERATIONS (2010-04).
BRIAN OVINGTON, DIRECTOR MARKETING.
MITHUN BISWAS, REGIONAL MARKETING DIRECTOR.
As the Regional Marketing Director, Mithun provides marketing leadership by devising regional strategy and insights using customer segmentation, targeting and positioning of the Commercial Engine and Services businesses. He is currently based out of Singapore and leading the (APAC) marketing activities for (GE) Aviation (GEC) and working closely with the Sales and customer support teams for engines and services. Mithun has 13+ years of experience in marketing strategy, forecasting, competitive analysis, business development and customer engagement in the aviation industry and in the financial sectors in India, USA and Singapore.
Mithun earned a Master’s degrees in Management specializing in Finance and a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science Engineering, India. He is also certified as six sigma Green Belt professional.
RUDY BRYCE, GENERAL MANAGER, MATERIAL AND TRUECHOICE TRANSITION,
(GE) AVIATION MATERIALS.
At (GE) Aviation (GEC), Rudy leads the TrueChoice Transitions team and the (GE) Aviation Materials (GEAM) business, which sources and commercializes aircraft engine used material. Prior to this role, Rudy was the Regional General Manager for Latin America and the Caribbean, responsible for engine sales & service solutions for airlines in the region.
Rudy joined (GEC) in 2003 through (GE)’s Experienced Commercial Leadership Program. His past experiences also include responsibility for (GE) Aviation’s relationship with Embraer (EMB), Sales Director based in Mexico City, and Sales Support Director based in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Rudy has a master’s degree in international management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management and a (BBA) in finance from The University of Notre Dame.
KEVIN KANTER, MANAGER DESIGN & SYSTEMS INTEGRATION, WINNIPEG,
BRIAN DE BRUIN, PLANT LEADER PEEBLES ENGINE TEST FACILITY, OHIO.