General Electric has given the go-ahead for the CF34-10, an 18,000lb-thrust (80kN) version of its CF34 regional jet engine, following its selection by Embraer for the ERJ-190.

The engine, a derivative of the -8E version selected for the ERJ-170, will also be produced to power Fairchild's 928JET.

The -10, formally called the CF34-8XX, is on a "fast track" development schedule, like that of the airframe, to meet the target in-service date set by launch customer, Swiss regional airline Crossair. This calls for entry into service in the first quarter of 2004, meaning that engine certification will be in the fourth quarter of 2002.

GE held its first "Toll-Gate 1" meeting in Lynn, Massachusetts in early June to begin the design process for the CF34-10E. The engine beat competition from the Snecma - Pratt & Whitney Canada SPW14/16 and BMW Rolls-Royce BR715-50 to win the deal.

Possible changes to the new engine include modifications to the basic -8 compressor. "We will de-stage and possibly flare it [to provide increased mass flow], as well as have a new high-pressure turbine, a similar but modified combustor and a 1.3m (53in)-diameter fan," says GE. The engine is expected to have a new low-pressure turbine and "two to three booster stages".

GE believes the CF34-8 and its -10 derivative have broken the record for sales of an engine that has yet to be certificated. Orders and options for the engine family total 1,258.

Source: Flight International