GE-powered CRJ1000 to feature high pressure turbine upgrade

Salt Lake City
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GE plans to introduce an upgrade to the high pressure turbine of the CF34-8C5 engines powering the Bombardier CRJ1000 to support higher thrust ratings.

The CRJ1000 started flight testing in September of last year, and Bombardier is targeting certification by year-end to support an entry into service date in early 2010.

GE general manager CF34 project development Chuck Nugent today at the US Regional Airline Association convention in Salt Lake City told ATI the company wanted to incorporate additional technology into the HPT without driving up maintenance costs.

As a result GE is redesigning the HPT stage 1 nozzle with fewer airfoils, and is making changes to the stage one blades by altering their geometry to adjust stress levels. A new coating is also being applied to the stage two blades.

GE is also plans to introduce enhancements to the CF34-10E powering the Embraer E-190/105 within the 18 months for an additional 1% fuel consumption improvement after achieving an initial 1.6% decrease since the engine's entry-into-service three years ago.

Acknowledging the CF34 orderbook is a bit lighter, Nugent says GE expects to deliver roughly 350 CF34 engines in 2009, compared with an average rate of 400 per year for 2003-2008.

Planned research and development spend by GE Aviation for 2009 is $1.7 billon compared with $1.5 billion spent in 2008.

Nugent explains that during the last downturn that started around 2001 GE ramped up its research and development investment and "as a result had good products when the industry recovered".