FARNBOROUGH 2012: CFM claims 2012 narrowbody engine lead

CFM says that it has gained 62% of orders in narrowbody market in 2012.

The engine manufacturer’s president and CEO Jean-Paul Ebanga noted that of 772 aircraft ordered so far this year, 480 are CFM-powered. The orders for the 960 engines involved are composed of 404 CFM56s and 556 LEAP models.

From a total of 2,745 orders for next-generation aircraft placed, CFM has gained total orders/commitments for 1,858 of those are LEAP-powered – 578 A320neos, 280 C919s and 1,000 737 MAXs.

The complete CFM backlog currently stands at 9,100, which is six years of production.

The OEM is planning for a full transition to LEAP production by 2019, reported executive vice-president Cedric Goubet. He noted that the company expects to deliver 1,442 engines this year, but is planning to deliver 1,700 in 2020 – a 17% increase over eight years. Goubet’s fellow EVP, Chaker Chahrour added, “We’ll probably produce a small amount of 100-120 CFM56s to support the fleet in service.”

In terms of LEAP development, full-scale RTM (resin transfer moulding) fan production starts in 2014 with facilities being set up in Rochester, New Hamphire, USA, and Commercy, France. These sites will produce 32,000 blades a year by 2019.

With engine production in France and the USA being well-positioned for deliveries to Airbus and Boeing, the CFM executives were asked if there was a possibility of an assembly line in China with a possible role for AVIC. “We have the experience to supply any third assembly line. And yes, we are discussing with ACAE (AVIC Commercial Aircraft Engine) the potential of having an assembly line there, but there has to be a business case,” commented Ebanga, to which Chahrour added, “There is no need to implement an assembly line just to supply the C919.”

Looking further ahead to open rotor technology, Chahrour reported that work is ongoing withing the CFM partnership as well as parent companies GE and Snecma having their own projects. “Recent tests have shown that noise shouldn’t be a problem, but we don’t see a commercial use in the thrust range where CFM sits now until about 2030,” he declared.

Bernie Baldwin, editor, Low-Fare & Regional Airlines/LARAnews.net
Farnborough, UK

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