At MRO Europe I had the chance to talk to Tom Masters, who runs the CFM engine products operation providing PMA parts, life-limited parts under STC, and support for CFM56-3 engines.
At last year's MRO Europe in Madrid, P&W said they expected to decide on addressing a second engine from a rival manufacturer this year. But that didn't happen and CEO David Hess played down the idea at the Paris Airshow.
But Masters says that the whole question is still firmly on the company's agenda and they're looking at a decision around mid-2010. Part of the question is whether to grow the CFM56 business into the -5 and -7, which is not as simple as it sounds. Those engines still have many patents in force, and of course the operators are more likely to be locked into support deals.
So what to look at next? I think the Rolls-Royce RB211 is an obvious possibility. There is plenty of gossip around about operators regretting some of the deals they signed with RR way back. But of course they can't easily get out of them either.
On the GE side I suppose CF6 is a possibility, and maybe the earlier CF34s, of which there are huge numbers of course. Any thoughts? Leave a comment.