Indigo selected PW GTF for NEO

Indigo Airlines of India selected the PW P1000G Geared Turbo Fan for its order of 150 Airbus A320neos.

We’re at the PW Media Day and will be filing additional reports today. Up to this point, most of the activities have been associated with military and space programs, which we don’t follow closely.

We did confirm that PW is providing the PW 4000 for the KC-46A tanker. There had been some minor speculation that the secretive Boeing bid might have included plans for a 767-sized GTF; this isn’t the case.

PW revealed that it is undertaking a Program Improvement Package (PIP) for the tanker’s engines that will reduce fuel burn by 2%-3%. Coupled with the winglets appearing in Boeing artwork of the tanker (winglets provide a fuel burn reduction of 3.5% to 4% in 767 passenger service), this means the tanker on these two elements alone have a baseline fuel burn improvement of 5.5% to 7%. Of course, the extra equipment on the tanker–the wing pods, the refueling boom and the centerline hose-and-drogue–cause drag, offsetting some of this fuel gain.

It’s unknown if  Boeing is improving the fuselage aerodynamics.

We asked PW if the engine PIP will find its way onto the commercial 767 and the answer is yes.

Thus, as we have written before, Boeing has the potential for a very attractive 767 “Next Gen” that incorporates the winglets, engine PIP and potentially aerodynamic improvements that typically provide another 1%-2% in fuel reduction.

Coupled with reduced production costs,  Boeing can offer a low-priced 767 with substantial fuel burn reduction to extend the life of the program.

We’ll have more to say about this topic in the future.

As for the GTF, all of us media type were trundled onto a bus for a show and tell with the F-135 STOL-VTOL engine and the GTF. We got to hear the F-135 (it’s loud) but didn’t get to hear the GTF. There was an instrumentation failure on the test bed and PW testing protocol prohibited the company from demonstrating the engine.

Lest one think this is being picky, recall the Rolls-Royce’s uncontained engine failure on the 787 Trent 1000 began with instrumentation failure. After trouble-shooting the instruments for 25 tries, RR started the engine and the accumulated oil caught fire and blew up the engine.

Robert Saia, the chief of the GTF program, told us the engine weight is coming in under specifications and tests are ahead of schedule. We’ll have more on this topic later.

Parenthetically, while GE advocates that its rival engine to the F-135, which was defunded by Congress in a budget-cutting move, should be re-funded and would benefit the taxpayers from the competition, the company paid Zero in taxes in 2010. The hypocrisy is pretty cheeky on this one.

12 Comments on “Indigo selected PW GTF for NEO

  1. I don’t think anyone has selected the Leap-X engine, yet.

    • Does that reflect higher future performance headroom for the GTF versus the LeapX?

  2. All these [deleted word as violation of our Comment policy] purchasers of engines who don’t investigate maintenance costs.

    At least according to Boeing.

  3. I must admit I am confused.

    767 sales were almost dried up due to the A330. Boeing responds with the 787. Now the 767 is supposed to have a second life because of a few minor performance improvements and a slightly smaller price tag due to lean manufacturing?
    Perhaps I am missing something here. Or maybe I am seeing things too linearly.

    • More like a product at hand for pacifying those customers that
      wont get their Dreamliner in a reasonable timeframe.
      ( and maybe getting a hand on loosing sales to that PaleoLiner
      from Airbus : the A330 in all its variations.)

      My assumption:
      About 18month after MHI starts to invest in further infrastructure
      for increasing the number of Dreamliner wingsets produced (to get
      past the current hard limit) will there be a chance ( with lots of
      hope invested ) of Boeing going beyond ~6 Dreamliners completed
      per month.
      Boeing tried to move MHI towards expansion in the past but could
      not make a viable case. Now, even with the faint hope of decission
      criteria for MHI changing the recent quake and tsunami damage may
      have raised more barriers that seem unfixable on short notice.

  4. Aero Ninja, Agree B’s 7676 claims are puzzling. For me problem is that Albaugh has made them and so far as I can tell his credibility is good compared to Bair, Carson and company before him. In fact, I think he was brought in mainly to reverse the history of misleading statements surrounding the 787.

    I think B is pushing the 767 to compete again with the 332 and now the 332F. The reason lies in the the changes in the mkt and industry since the 787 was first put on offer. First, the mkt for passenger wide bodies in the 200-300 seat segment has ballooned so that A and B cannot deliver new orders for their composite planes for years to come. This means its either the 332 or the 763/4 if you want planes sooner. I suspect that B bid the tanker low to keep the line running so they could reduce the cost of commercial 767s to get into that residual all-metal mkt. I think it was Norm Dicks who recently called for produing 24 tankers/year instead of 15, which would improve B’s 767 producition economic even more.

    Second, the composite planes are turning out not to be as efficient compared to metal ones as first thought. The 787 and 350 are over weight, the aluminium and other metals industries are improving their products in response to composites, and the engine makers are doing the same in response to GenX/RR1000; eg. The improvements to 737 engine B is touting and PW’s recent claims that the fuel burn of PW 4000 on 767s would be cut several percentage points. Plus, the on-coming GTF and LeapX.

    Third, Albaugh said the 767 has the lowest trip costs of any wide body, which, if I understand correctly, makes it a great freighter. B may feel they can sell them because they will brackett the 332F with the 777f above and the 764F below, as they are trying to bracket the A314 with the 789 and 7810.

    • Product portfolio:
      Another product were Boeing lives less on product excellence than on
      a sellers market. ( 737NG, 747-8* now 767 )

      I am still waiting for some tangible information on A350 obeseness
      that is not derived from “guidance” Boeing has sprouted.
      Same for legs too short 😉

      What is an A314?

      G! uwe

  5. Uwe
    The A314 is little known commercial varient of the A400M intended to bring the manifest benefits of 8-bladed turbo prop power to long range commercial aviation. My sources indicate that Kingfisher airlines traded their A380s for this mkt leading plane. It’s main advantage, from an LCC point of view, is that the airline can load passengers from the rear 12 abreast in 12 out. Airbus wisely chose the webbed paratrooper seats as standard for the commercial variant, altho their contract with Panasonic to design an entertainment system is proving difficult to perform. Not however for MOL who is the secret launch customer for the A314 (250 to replace all of his 737s). He has insisted on no seats at all. His view is that the 300 pax can simpley stand and mill around on the 30 hour, 8,000 mile flghts the A314 is capable of making (with in-flight refueling by the commercial varient of the KC-46A). He has left a little vague about who is to pay for the parachutes. My sources indicate that he is truly torn between requiring a $1000 deposit to be held until the parachutes are returned and a two/for – a trade of the two free loo tickets each pax gets for one parachute. Considering these advangtages the A314 seems like a real winner.

    • Ahh, that clears it up.
      My sources talked about a new A200-400pp type,
      basically a stripped down A400 that would allow prepopulated pax pallets
      to load from the rear and quick lock attachment for the outer engines
      to facilitate economic flight while retaining the humanitarian mission
      relevant HOT/HIGH/unpaved runway performace for lending out to the UN
      in times of crisis alleviating losses from reduced civil travel demand
      during war times.

      ..s that the airline can load passengers from the rear 12 abreast in 12 out.
      So EASA put a foot down against the prepopulated pallets?


  6. Pre-populated pax palletts! Does MOL kinow about this? Another Airbus genius idea. It adds great flexibilty. One day its a freighter, the next a pax plane. There is hope yet for the A380F.

    • MOL has decided to take the opposite path.
      Fully autonomous selfloading PAX for stations low on infrastructure.
      From the preassembled pax
      The first able person appearing for the flight is assigned
      to the the loadmaster role. He/She will have to effect all
      further activity.
      Every tenth person will be handed a blue coverall and assigned
      to load/unload cargo and passenger bags.
      Every twentieth person between 20 and 40 will be handed a
      RyanAir branded decorative apron and an adaption of a
      tourist guide “talking box”. Their assignment covers
      typical FA activity.

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