General Electric is developing a higher-thrust, "bolt-less-turbine" version of the CF6 turbofan on the back of Delta Air Lines' launch in April of the stretched Boeing 767-400.

The derivative is based around an improved turbine made from Rene 88, a high-temperature-resistant alloy, which allows the "bolt features" to be removed from the rims of the stage one and two discs in the high-pressure turbine.

The modified turbine will be available initially in the CF6-80C2B7F for the Boeing 767-300ER and -400ER, and on the CF6-80E1 for the Airbus A330. It is also applicable to all other -80C2 and -80E1 variants powering Boeing 747s, Airbus A300s and McDonnell Douglas MD-11s.

GE says that the new CF6 version will offer "-improved high-pressure turbine durability, better maintenance costs, higher temperature capability, and as much as 2% more thrust capability".

CF6 project general manager, Roger Seager says: "We are already working with airlines and manufacturers to find ways of making the best use of the new turbine's increased capabilities. This newer technology could be for use on derivative aircraft under study or derivatives under development."

The new CF6 configurations, which will require no other modifications to incorporate the new Rene 88 turbine, will be available in May 2000, says GE.

Source: Flight International