Boeing’s power requirement for the New Mid-market Airplane's engines could slightly exceed 50,000lb-thrust each, but CFM International still plans to participate in the competition, GE Aviation chief executive David Joyce has declared.
The agreement between GE and Safran Aircraft Engines sets 50,000lb-thrust as the upper limit for engines produced by the joint company. If Boeing's studies for the NMA concept begin to creep over that threshold, CFM won't withdraw from the competition for GE and Safran to pursue separate bids, Joyce says.
"We've committed that we'll do the engine with Safran, our engine partner, even if it sneaks a little bit north of 52,000lb-thrust," Joyce says.
"We would still consider it to be in the spirit of the [joint venture]," he adds.
Boeing expects to make a launch decision on the NMA in 2019, but CFM is still analysing the business case for the programme. A key question for the engine manufacturers remain the size of the NMA market and whether it can justify competitive engine offerings. `
"People feel great when you launch, but your shareholders don't feel great until it's successful. So at the end of the day that programme has got to turn into GEnx for us or like Leap for us," Joyce says.
"We're not completely reconciled right now but we haven't done all our homework."
Joyce expects Boeing to provide feedback on the first-round proposals submitted by engine manufacturers for the NMA two weeks ago.