Two good questions have come in about my post yesterday. I’ll do my best to answer them, but I’d be interested to hear other views as well.
Two years ago GE was proposing the GENX for future A330 freighter and tanker applications, as reported by flightglobal.The A330F has more engine ground clearance then the A330.Long term this would probably be the best solution instead of the moderately outdated CF6 and PW4000 offerings.The 15%-20% better fuel efficiency of the GEnx-2B against the CF6-80E1 makes adiiference hard to ignore..
My answer: Yes, the GEnx-2B, which is in development for the 747-8, would be a great alternative to the CF6 family. Of course, you’d have to be willing to wait a few years for it to become available. The GE/Pratt & Whitney joint venture making the GP7200 has a newer offering as well. But General Electric has not been keen to jump on new Airbus freighters lately. GE had the option to offer the CF6 for the A330-200F, but declined.
That’s the problem when you allow extra credit for exceedingrequirements. We now have an arms race that if unchecked we will end upwith a KC-747F vs a KC-380F contest to replace a 60 YO KC-135 fleet.
My answer: I don’t think we have to fear a KC-747 vs KC-380 face-off, as thrilling as that would be, because the extra credit offer is not open-ended. Boeing and Airbus can receive additional credit for exceeding the THRESHOLD fuel offload requirement. But they get no bonus points for exceeding the OBJECTIVE requirement. I don’t recall off-hand what that range includes, but I believe it stops short of the 747 level, but would include everything in the 767/777/787/A330/A340 range. At the same time, even if either team pursues the most extra credit for fuel offload, they can still be penalized for failing to meet ramp and basing goals. So it’s still a trade-off versus a one-dimensional competition.