GTF fans gear up for Farnborough

As the Farnborough air show rapidly approaches, excitement is building about order prospects for the Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan-powered Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) and Bombardier’s proposed CSeries.


Mitsubishi has alreaThumbnail image for Fan 2.JPGdy secured All Nippon Airways as launch customer, and is reportedly closing in on a second deal. Bombardier is rumoured to launch the CSeries at Farnborough (which runs 14-20 July) with as many as 200 orders, including 50 from China Southern.


A big draw for both aircraft is the high-bypass GTF, which is attracting increasing interest, including from former sceptics of the project. ”I think what you’re seeing is an industry that is starting to understand the facts and the figures, and maybe being able to separate [these] from myth,” says Benjamin Boehm, director, programme management office and director of marketing, new commercial aircraft programmes at Bombardier Aerospace.


P&W recently held technical symposiums in Asia and the USA to show would-be customers what the GTF can deliver as the exclusive powerplant for both the MRJ and CSeries. “Customers are coming to us at these events we’re hosting. There is absolutely a great push and emphasis on better fuel economy and better emission performance [to be made available] in a timely fashion,” says Mary Ellen Jones, VP of marketing for P&W Commercial Engines.


But if you’re looking for P&W to let the cat out of the bag on orders, think again. Jones sees Farnborough’s July timing as somewhat of “an arbitrary date”, but she has no doubt we’ll see some order action this year.


The first flight of the GTF on a Boeing 747SP test-bed will occur “around the time of Farnborough”, says Jones. “The biggest expectation is to have a flight test programme as successful as our ground test programme.”


Clearly the GTF proposal – which promises to reduce fuel burn by at least 12% compared to current high-bypass ratio turbines – is “going in the right direction”, says consultant Bob Mann, who suggests that if Bombardier and Mitsubishi can deliver on their promises “those look like some of the leading programmes in [improving] economics”.


So what does Bombardier have to say as Farnborough nears? “I think the best thing for me to say of the show is that our calendar of airline face-to-face executive meetings is filling up fast and our calendar for supplier that want to get on the programme is filling up fast,” says Boehm.


“That pretty much says I’m going to very busy during that week.”


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2 Responses to GTF fans gear up for Farnborough

  1. Mary Kirby June 25, 2008 at 11:09 am #

    True you are. Will this be enough of a step change to secure serious orders?

  2. Frequent Traveller March 12, 2010 at 10:40 am #

    If this engine could be offered @ thrust ranges from 22,000 lbs upwards (P&W contend they’ll be able to reach beyond 40,000 lbs with the GTF, right ?) then it certainly could be applied (as a start) to re-engining of a Light-Weight version of the A318/A319 HP3 or HQR five abreast twin aisle projects, whereby with the extra fuel economy on top of all the other advantages you’d get a SMC comparable with their (3+3) sister standard designs : the result would be an Airbus-produced “small Feeder”, ie a direct competitor to the CS Series, the ERJ or MRJ, but with a much more user-friendly cabin as cream-on-the-cake !