Farnborough: CFM, PW engage in hand-to-hand combat

We’re all used to Airbus and Boeing engaging in hand-to-hand combat. The war has now spilled over to CFM and Pratt & Whitney and the LEAP engine vs the GTF.

There have always been some sharp words. But according to these two stories from Guy Norris at Aviation Week, the tone has now gotten even sharper.

CFM claims big advantage over GTF.

PW angrily rebuts CFM.

We’re puzzled by CFM’s claim (in the first story) that the LEAP will have a 2%-2.5% advantage in fuel burn over the GTF. Airbus gives a 1.5% advantage to GTF because of the larger fan (John Leahy, Credit Suisse conference Nov. 30, 2011). CFM claims a 15% SFC gain over today’s engines; PW claims 16% SFC gains (pre-installation) for its GTF and flying test results bear this out, PW says.

CFM has a larger market share of aircraft over 100 seats, because of its exclusivity on the 737 MAX. CFM also has a larger share of the A320neo family, the only airplane where there is head-to-head competition, bolstered by the policy of sister company, lessor GECAS, of buying only GE engines; and a financial rescue of Frontier Airlines, which has a CFM-powered A320 fleet and which ordered the A319neo/320neo at the Paris Air Show last year with LEAP engines.

It’s noteworthy in the first article that the LEAP-1B for the 737 MAX shares little commonality with the LEAP-1A and LEAP-1C. This reflects the challenges of fitting a LEAP under the wings of the physically-constrained 737, which basically required another core design.

Separately, here is a story about the materials and process used for the LEAP.

12 Comments on “Farnborough: CFM, PW engage in hand-to-hand combat

  1. Hello Scott
    On its website CFM already states a lead over GTF of 1% at EIS
    Don’t know what’s behind that
    Looks like CFM wants an all aspects lead…

    Have a good day

  2. CFM having a better sfc on their LEAP then the GTF mirrors IMO Boeing stating the MAX is more fuel efficient. Maybe attack is the best defense or if you can’t convince them confuse them..

  3. The law of averages dictates one will likely be better, by what factor & when is an unknown, until we have engines bolted to airframes it’s primarily speculation, Oh I forgot, it’s then route & distance dependant.

    Sound familiar? perhaps the ceasless epic Saga & deja vu of the Max & NeO claim & counter claim.

    • I guess hundreds of tests and simulations reduce the speculation, followed by orders worth billions, long before the first engine is bolted to an airframe. Both parties know pretty accurate how their products really compare. The party with the inferior product will say it is far more complicated, introduce tailored viewpoints and deny/ignore any shortcomings forever, or until he has a credible solution, e.g. replacement.

      • keesje, How can both parties know accurately how their products really compare?

        Secondly, I wonder if the process you describe is how the business actually works. There is some phase in period and compensation and even replacement is how the system adjusts

      • What is the better engine and by how much on the A380 and the 787? Is that even an objective answer to that question.

  4. aeroturbopower :Who does not want…? Question is who has?

    It is expected that you will have some way of trying to thread out the claims or at least bringing some additional information to the “comparison battle” . It seems too early without test results and flight examinations to come up with definitive data.

    CFM seems to have the confidence of many in the field and perhaps their estimates are based on engineering committments and their track record gives them credibility. Like the OEM’s, I assume they have to make representations and give performance guarantees.

    • The invisible elefant in the room is GECAS.
      The LEAP deals appear to a noteworthy part financing related.

      • Uwe. Aren’t most of these deals influenced by financial arrangements.

        Seems to me that there are many other aspects of the deal that have not been identified. Maintenace arrangements, servicing programs,
        replacement schedules and guarantees, etc to name a few.

        There are many ways to negotiate arrangements that affect the overall cost and long term return

      • GECAS is a force to consider. They buy lots pf engines and only from GE. Since CFM is half GE, they buy from them too. PW or RR do not have anything like in their corner.

      • To clarify: like a GE rep said on the topic of LEAP vs PW1000: we will do commerically what we cannot do technically. Go figure.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *