Any bid by CFM International to power Boeing’s proposed New Mid-market Airplane (NMA) is unlikely to incorporate geared-fan technology.

The GE Aviation/Safran joint venture would also be willing to adjust its thrust-range agreement if the engine exceeds the 50,000lb upper limit that currently ensures the partnership does not compete with its parent GE.

Chaker Chahrour, GE Aviation’s vice president and general manager of global sales and marketing, explained CFM’s position on the NMA at the Singapore air show Aviation Leadership Summit. He adds that CFM is examining the technologies to apply to an all-new engine for the NMA, which is slated for service entry in the mid-2020s.

“Depending on what the airplane ends up looking like, we will respond accordingly,” he says. “We are continuously looking at different [engine technologies] that add value.”

Chahrour says CFM expects that the NMA would need a new engine in the 50,000lb thrust range, which means it falls within the joint-venture’s thrust agreement. “If we need to adjust it if the engine ends up outside that agreement, then we will do that,” he adds.

“We’ve been looking at many different architectures over the years and right now it looks like that thrust size wants to be direct drive for us. That doesn’t mean we aren’t looking at other architectures.”

Chahrour insists that its view on the NMA’s powerplant does not mean that CFM has dismissed geared-fan technology and that it continues to study that configuration.

“We will use it when the right time comes. Right now, we feel we have enough value that we can bring without the complexity of a gear… and the reliability that we are ready to commit to at this point. It doesn’t mean we won’t in the future,” he says.

Source: Cirium Dashboard