GE, CFMI commit to new engine

London, England: GE Aviation, CFM International and Safran, all partners in the CFM group that makes the CFM56 engine that’s on the Boeing 737-300 through 900 and about half of the Airbus A320 family and some A340 models, said Sunday it is formally proceeding with what was the R&D LEAP 56 project, committing to the renamed LEAP-X.

Certification is aimed for 2016, two years before Airbus recently said it plans to have a replacement for the A320 family enter service and four years before Boeing’s latest plans to have a successor to the 737.

GE officials declined to speculate whether the 2016 certification will cause Airbus and Boeing to accelerate the own development plans.

The LEAP-X promises 16% lower fuel burn than the CFM56. The GE group expects airframe improvements to further lower operating costs.

Bombardier launches CSeries

Also on Sunday Bombardier launched the 110-130 seat CSeries (it can also seat up to 149 in maximum configuration) following a provisional order from Lufthansa German Airlines for 30+30. The Reuters story may be found here. The plane will compete with the smallest A318/A319 and Boeing 737-600/700 airplanes. Bombardier says fuel burn for its new plane will be at least 20% less than the Airbus or Boeing products.

Bombardier also will tap launch aid from the governments of Canada, Northern Ireland and the Canadian Province of Quebec.

It will be interesting to see whether Boeing objects, as it has over launch aid for Airbus.

Dominic Gates of The Seattle Times took a pre-announcement look at the CSeries within this larger topic and in this specific story in Sunday’s paper. He also profiles Pat Shanahan, the head of Boeing’s 787 program, who will give his quarterly update Tuesday of the 787 at the Farnborough Air Show.

The London Sunday Telegraph published this full page article about Boeing, the 787 and an interview with Boeing CEO James McNerney.

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