Rolls-Royce and GTF: Rolls-Royce today said it will pursue technology for its next big engine that follows the Geared Turbo Fan technology of Pratt & Whitney’s smaller design.
Aviation Week has this story and Bloomberg has this one.
RR says the engine will be ready around 2020, which is just about the time Emirates Airlines would like to see an engine that is 10% more efficient than today’s technologies, for the Airbus A380.
Airbus’ challenge: Reuters has a think-piece about the challenge Airbus faces in the heart-of-the-market twin-aisle sector occupied by the A330 and A350. Bloomberg discusses the A350 challenge in its report of Airbus Group earnings.
So, there we have it. In 2025 Rolls Royce could be providing an all new engine to an all new A360X super twin that would have at least 10 percent lower TSFC than the TXWB and at least 5 percent lower TSFC than the GE9X. An A360X EIS in 2025 would IMJ cut the 777X’s lifespan short, much sooner in fact, than anyone in Seattle might realise.
Also, the Advance design would be perfect for an A380neo. No point, really, in putting a new engine on an A380neo that would be less advanced than the GE9X.
There’s no room or resources to develop a “A360 super twin” unless Airbus is happy with killing off the A380 or turns it into a ” new super twin”. An A350-1100 and a neo’d A380 should keep investments to a minimum to have something in this segment until the A380 needs replacing.
Again, an A380neo flying around with an engine that’s 12-15 percent more efficient then the current ones, 11 across on the main deck and a few other enhancements, won’t be killed off by a new Airbus A360X super twin. In fact, an A360X, an A380-800neo and an A380-900neo would complement each other.
Also, why wouldn’t Airbus have the room and resources necessary in order to develop an all new A360X super twin? In 2018, they’ll basically be through with the development of the A350-1000 and the A32Xneo-series. What’s up next?
Lets summarise this:
Advance EIS 2020 >20% better than Trent 700, part of 77X-competition
Ultrafan EIS 2025 >25% better than Trent 700, >10% better than TrentXWB
So the “Advance” would be 5% better than the Trent XWB.
Correct, the “Advance” would be about equal to the GE9X in TSFC.
Addendum, the Trent 700 is used on the A330.
According to Aspire aviation the 787-10 is 25% more fuel efficient:
“Make no mistake, while the A330neo will be optimised for 2,000nm missions and have a 12% lower block fuel burn, according to Aspire Aviation‘s sources at the world’s second-largest aircraft manufacturer, it is believed that an A330-300neo will still be 10-12% behind the 787-10 which will have a 25% lower block fuel burn than the A330-300 on a 3,000nm mission with 85% annual winds.”
If that holds true, re-enging the A330 with the RR Advance would result in a >5% penalty (including the increased weight) against the 787 in that scenario.
And if the “Advance” is about equal to the GE9X (a 787 engine), that would mean the 787-10 structure is only 5% more efficiant than the 330-300 in that 3000nm scenario?
That’s not much for a clean sheet next gen aircraft. Could Airbus narrow the gap with more PIP on the the frame/wing ?
Anyone who starts a statement with ‘make no mistake’ shouldn’t really be taken very seriously.
Well that’s Aspire so you might want to take their claims with a bowl of salt!
Randy Tinseth is less pro-Boeing and anti-Airbus than them…
As I understand it then, the Advance is equivalent to the GE9x (roughly) and the Ultrafan is 5% better. This seems reasonable as it appears engine efficiency seems to improve 1% a year. Good for RR. Good for the industry. I would presume the GE 9x will also improve over time at the 1% a year rate. So with entry in service in 2018-2020 it will likely also improve a few percent. Good for GE. Also good for the industry.
No, the GE9X will not improve by 1 percent per year post 2020. The 1 percent per year figure is for all new engines vs. the datum, not for engines that have undergone PIPs. The GE9X could perhaps see an improvement of 0.25 percent per year < 5 percent over 20 years, which is AFAIK the increase in efficiency we are talking about for a 1995 Trent-700 vs a 2015 Trent-700.
Now, keep in mind that the "1 percent improvement per year" figure is actually a geometric sequence. Hence, over ten years, you've got:
(1-0.99exp10)/(1-0.99) = 9.56 percent lower TSFC (i.e. over 10 years).
Well, even at 0.25% x 5-7 years it is still making progress. And the recent PIPs for GE and RR on the 787 engines are more in the 1-2% a year as they were pushing to make spec. In any event, I don’t think that GE will stop improving their product any more than RR will stop. The beauty of competition. I guess the question you are putting forth is the GE9x at the end of the road in terms of efficiency with the technology it is leaning on… I have no idea. RR looks like it is starting to go down the geared path…
The problem is that the 777-9X depends on an engine that are 5 percent more efficient to the one on the A350-1000 just to equal the smaller aircraft on fuel burn per seat. That’s not very reassuring, is it? Again, if Airbus launches an A360X super twin that would be powered by new family of 100,000-pound thrust class Rolls Royce ultra fan engines, not only would the 777-9X loose out to an A360X on fuel-burn/seat and CASK big time, but the A350-1000 itself could be re-engined with these new engines as well, and automatically be providing upwards of 10 percent lower fuel burn per seat than that of the 777-9X. Hence, an average annual improvement in TSFC by less than a quarter of a percent would do nothing to the competitive situation for the 777-9X post 2025 if Airbus were to proceed with an A360X super twin in, say, 2018.
The question then begs is it better for Airbus to go for the “super twin” which would be a brand new clean sheet? Or go for the 330 successor or the NSA successor, both of which might need to be clean sheets. Are there that many 400+ aircraft to be sold? And what would the “supertwin” do to the 380? I am not sure it makes sense to invest in a “supertwin” for a limited market that cannibalizes your flagship. If the OEMs can only manage 1 clean sheet program at a time and then add a couple de
Where do you put your chips for maximum yield?rivatives….
An A330 successor in the form of a neo would EIS some 5 years before an A360X supertwin, so the interference with the R&D of an A360X super twin would be negligible. Furthermore, an all new A330neo successor project could be started-up in the early 2030s. The A320 platform will likewise be viable until at least the 2030s. Hence, this would IMJ not be a question of either an A330 successor and a NSA, or a super twin, far from it.
As for the A380 vs. the super twin, first keep in mind that we are talking about a re-engined A380neo version vs. the super twin and not about the current A380 vs. the super twin. Now, an A380-800neo using the Rolls Royce “Advance” engine should have at least 10 percent lower fuel burn per trip. That should more than close any gap that might exist with the 777-9X when it comes to fuel burn per seat. Still, the super twin would be more efficient than A380-800. So, enter the A380-900, or even an A380-1000. Due to the larger cabin an more efficient engines, fuel burn per seat would be lower on the larger A380 versions than on the super twin. In fact, a super twin family could have effective floor areas from 380m2 to 440m2, while the A380-900 could have an effective floor area of more than 620m2; or some 40 percent larger than the biggest super twin aircraft.
@ Mike, re ” …If the OEMs can only manage 1 clean sheet program at a time …”
There is basically ONE OBVIOUS – and only one ! – clean-sheet newbuild programme available for Airbus to launch sine die which would fit perfectly well in with RR’s new UltraFan (timing + thrust) whilst causing NO INTERFERENCE whatsoever with either A380 or A350 or A330, namely :
The AGA-liner “UltraFreighter” 26 AGA/350 m.tonnes payload over 6,500 nm.
The Design Mission is to produce a FTK at a cost to the Operator of less than the cost today of a belly-freighted FTK onboard the current market’s most efficient WB paxliners (eg, A333) – CALCULATED AT MARGINAL COSTING RULES – which is nearbelow 18 cents of an € per FTK, at current fuel prices. To meet this demanding design challenge, the UltraFreighter needs an UltraFan, thank you, Rolls Royce !
Well, “from new” engines tend to EIS on a 1%/a gain curve.
Existing engines follow a 0.5%/a or less improvement curve.
The Trent1000/GenX combo already lag that assumption by ~4years.
i.e. they have reached projected spec about 4 years late.
Perhaps he’s talking about 25 percent lower fuel burn per seat and 12 percent lower fuel burn per trip.
Anyway, what matters is thrust specific fuel consumption (TSFC).
Interestingly, the A320neo will have new engines that have at least 15 percent lower TSFC than the current engines on the A320ceo. They will be larger and heavier, but the sharklets alone should help ensure an overall 15 percent lower fuel burn per trip than the A320 baseline (i.e. no sharklets).
Imagine then what a 20 percent more efficient engine would do to the A330. It’s really all about propulsion. All the other stuff is only differentiators. 😉
Sure, the new engine would be larger and heavier than the current engines, but much less so than what would be the case for a purley derived Trent engine. Also, more efficient wingtip devices and new, lighter aluminium alloys could help make an A330neo extremely competitive with the 787.
I agree with the huge benefit this could have on the a330. The fact they referenced the,T700 engine seems a deliberate nudge for 330neo reengining. Al-Mg-Li fuselage skin swaps, and the lighter core RR mentioned on,the,advance could,all,add,to,weight reduction. 20% fuel burn reduction is a,good number.
Wouldn’t that instead be aluminium-magnesium-scandium you were thinking about? 😉
As you say, the T700 refererence in not “accidental”. IMO, the question is not if there will be an all new RR engine on an A330neo, but if Pratt will be offered to come aboard as well. IMJ, GE is out.
As for using the new aluminium materials; it’s probably a go. The experience gained by developing the techniques and technologies for an A330neo skin swap can be used on an upgraded A32Xneo-series as well.
Amazing!!! It has taken the A330 40 years to get to this point!! But, over the next 10 years it will be better performing than the A350? Engines have gotten better but they will never get better to the point that a clean sheet will not be able to overcome. If that were the case the A350 would never have happened. The airframe will produce drag that will not be offset by the new engines. Weight will not be offset because stresses on the current frame will not be removed. It will get to a point where a clean sheet will be needed and the A330NEO will reach a performance limit. Engines will do 20% but the frame will only allow half to a quarter. Sorry guys. My point for saying, the 787 and the A350 will be able to leverage much more of the engine performance than the 737 and the A320. Chec out the wings on the 787 and the A350, they reduce drag that none of the other 4 will ever do. The A360, A380NEO, the NSA single isle, will kill the Airbus development folks.
IMU with the 787 Boeing managed to get nearer to Airbus’ cleaner, simpler wing design.
Looking at the numbers of single aisle orders in Asia, it looks like Asia needs a new domestic twin aisle airliner. I don’t think they need the cargo volume of an A330, so I think a smaller fuselage is warranted.
What about an A380 fuselage coupled to the wing and MLG of the A350-900?
Or, possibly the A380 fuselage coupled to a railroad carriage for high speed rail?
Sure, for high speed rail around an airport, wouldn’t work anywhere else. 😉
Seriously though, why couldn’t a VLA optimised for 2000nm to 3000nm sectors be viable in Asia? First, it wouldn’t have excess cargo capacity; 2nd, would have very fast and effective turnaround with 3 passenger loading bridges*; and 3rd, it would have an Incredible low CASK.
Well, they made a 747D, so I don’t see any reason why applying the same principles to the A380, with a lighter weight and more cycles wouldn’t work.
High speed train sets in Japan and China routinely carries more than 1000 passengers. There’s no reason IMJ that you couldn’t use 800-1000 seat VLAs as well if the VLAs are optimsed for short. If so, they would be viable in Asia and perhaps elsewhere as well. However, a short ranged A380-800 is too much airplane with far too big a wing and way too heavy. Think A310 vs. A340-600. Both aircraft have the same fuselage cross section, but the former has a wing area of only 220m2 while the A346’s wing area is about twice as large (i.e. 437m2). The A380-800 has a wing area of 845m2 while the A350-900 has a wing area of 443m2. Hence, we may have a match… 🙂
There’s no reason IMJ that you couldn’t use 800-1000 seat VLAs as well if the VLAs are optimsed for short range. 😉
So… Exactly the short-medium haul twin-aisle now being designed in Asia (and Russia) by COMAC partnering with UAC?
I’m not clear why RR have issued this press release now?
Having read all the articles, I couldn’t find any mention of thrust ranges.
Is the ‘Advance’ just the RB3025 (c. 100K)? And is it implied that the ‘UltraFan’ will be in the 25-35k thrust range?
If so, where’s the A330/A380neo engine?
No, the ultra fan is based on the Rolls Royce three-shaft architecture (i.e. >30,000 lbs of thrust). In fact, one of the original ultra fan concepts would use bypass ratios in excess of 25:1, and a new family of 60,000-pound thrust class engines.
But the Bloomberg article has a long paragraph entitled “Single-Aisle Return” with reference to the UltraFan?
Or, if as you suggest OV it is a c.60k class engine, then it’s not looking good for the A330NEO in 2018-20 – Airbus surely aren’t going to roll out a A330R 5-7 years after a A330NEO? (or perhaps Boeing are going to do a 787NEO in 2025!!)
Bloomberg seems to not know what they are talking about. 😉
The 60,000lbs thrust class engine was in reference to this study where Rolls and LM locked at engines with both 2 and 5 times higher bypass ratios than the trent-800 baseline:
As for a new engine for an A330neo and an A380neo, please do note that that would be the “Advance” engine slated for a suggested EIS in 2020 and not the “ultrafan” engine with half a decade later EIS.
I think a lot of people ignore or overlook the fact that Boeing could also reengine their aircraft and that it is not a concept unique to Airbus. I do wonder how difficult it would be to adapt a GTF to a bleedless arcithecture: dead easy? a bit of a challenge? oh boy, this could be a problem?
Well, the problem for Boeing is if Rolls Royce would take the same position as what GE did with the A350-1000. Why should they (Rolls Royce) be providing an engine both for a re-engined 787 that would be competing with a RR powered A330neo and for a re-engined 777X that would be competing with RR-powered A350-1000s and A360Xs. If an A360X would EIS some 5 years after the 777X having an engine with an overall pressure ratio of 70:1, how could GE respond to that? Also, keep in mind that the 777X depends on the GE9X being some 5 percent more efficient than the TXWB-97 engine one the A350-1000. If that 5 percent figure is reversed, the 777-9X would be in big trouble.
That’s gotta be the understatement of the day. It’ll not be in trouble. It’ll be DOA. But on the megaliner, I must admit that was one of the stupidest threads ever on A-Net. Does anyone really think Airbus is considering to build another oversized plane for a small market with engines that need yet to be invented so that they can completely bury the oversized, slowly-selling plane they already have in production and that’s just about to break even, maybe? Really? If so, I would like to have the email addresses of everyone who truly believes that and hasn’t been certified by the authorities as not having it altogether, because I’ve got a lovely bridge in Brooklyn to sell, real bargain too.
It would not be DOA, but rather looking at resurrection just half a decade, or so, after EIS. 😉
Anyway, who cares about threads at a.net?
The highly respected Guy Norris at AW&ST wrote a piece on an Airbus “mega twin” (i.e. link below). I for one, though, prefers the term “super twin”. The “mega twin” IMJ should be saved for a twin-engined version of the A380. 🙂
As for an A360X “super twin”, it would have new 100,000lbs thrust class engines; something that’s already flying on the 777-300ER and which are under development for the 777X. Why would such engines have to be “invented” for an Airbus “super twin” and not for the 777X. What we are talking about is the natural progression of engine technologies and the fact that Rolls Royce will happen to have an engine baseline ready for an A360X by the middle of the next decade. An A360X “super twin” BTW, may turn a gap in the market into a fast growing segment. Just because the 747-8I is not competitive doesn’t mean that there’s no market. Enter an all new 748-sized “super twin” that’s between 20 and 30 percent more efficient, and you’ll have a whole different equation to play with.
As for the A380, I firmly believe that it will grow into an ever larger market. By 2030, the market for LCAs will, in all likelihood, double in size as compared to today. In 2045, it’s highly likely that the LCA market will have doubled yet again. Therefore, to somehow dismiss the importance of the VLA market segment due to the relative low demand as of today, is ridiculous and incredibly shortsighted IMHO.
However, I agree, of course, that the current iteration of the A380 will not do post 2020. Stretching the aircraft, re-engining it with new engines and putting new wingtip devices on etc., should help ensure that the A380 will remain competitve/
complementary with an A360X “super twin” a decade hence.
– the ‘Advance’ is not the RB3025 (although ‘Aviation Week’ suggests it is) but a c.60k engine for a A330/A380NEO in 2020?
– the ‘UltraFan’ is also a c.60k engine available in 2025 for…???
– RR won’t be offering anything for a A350-1100?
– RR won’t be offering anything for a 757R/NSA in c.2025?
The RB3025 concept engine was the one Rolls proposed for the 777X.
The RB3039 concept engine = “Advance” engine. It’s the next generation three shaft engine architecture from RR that will succeed the Trent-family of aircraft engines. It doesn’t have a specific thrust range. It could be used as the baseline for engines with thrust levels as low as the ones that will be powering the A320neo/A321neo, up to very large engines with thrust levels exceeding 120,000lbs.
The “UltraFan” is just a more advanced derivative of the “Advance” engine architecture. This platform could likewise be used for both low thrust engines for single aisle aircraft and high thrust engines for very large aircraft. The 60,000lbs engine concept was just one thrust level chosen for the NASA Environmentally Responsible Aviation study with Lockheed Martin.
If Airbus sends out a RFP for a new 100,000lbs thrust class engine to be used on both a new super twin and the A350-1000, I’m sure RR would respond with a very interesting offer.
If Boeing were to launch a 757R/NSA in due course, I’m sure RR would offer a smaller, fully optimised engine. RR did the Trent-700 and Trent-800 concurrently. In all likelihood therefore, they should be able to concurrently develop an all new engine family for single aisles in addition to an all new 100,000lbs thrust class family of engines to be used on very large aircraft.
BouncerN, I’ve been looking at the pictures of both the “Advance” concept and the “UltraFan”. It may look as if the latter has a 2 spool architecture.
Compressor: 1-stage geared fan, 3 stage LP, 9 stage HP
Turbine: 2-stage HP, 4-stage LP
Compressor: 1-stage fan LP, 4 stage IP, 8 stage HP.
Turbine: 2-stage LP, 1-stage IP (/2-stage)* IP, 6-stage (/7-stage) LP.
*It’s not clear from the figure if the last stage visible is actually a moving LP turbine.
Of course, the UltraFan should be scalable as well. From single aisle applications to very large aircraft.
Click on the image to see a larger version. 🙂
Aeroturbopower suggests a 3-spool and GTF doesn’t make much sense – http://aeroturbopower.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/rolls-royce-looking-ahead.html
Again, look at the images. The UltraFan doesn’t look like a three spool engine to me. As a starter, it seems to have too few turbine stages (i.e. 6 in total).
Maybe a new RR engine could be aimed at 27 – 45 klbs segment, the 737-900/ A321 / 757 / 762 replacement market, up o 250 seat / 4500nm.
The same new RR engine segmented 27 – 45 klbf has another application : A340F NEO ! The world’s dedicated airfreight operators need a new tool to keep WB twin pax-liner belly-freight off limits ! Cost-efficient direct ULH (or Max Payload LH) (MainDeck + underbelly) airfreighting capability would be an attractive offering to Forwarders these days ? Airbus has entirely surrendered this business segment to 777 + 777F and needs to patch up what is currently a weakness in their product portfolio … times four and RR should be happy to cooperate ?
I guess when an A330 NEO is launched, a A330-200F and maybe A330-300F isn’t far away. Airbus has a certified A330/340 center gear as an option.
Yes, keesje : Airbus are vulnerable on the freighter segment, A332F ceo is their only card opposite the Boeing versatile donne, so agreed : a radical ‘belotte’ A332F NEO and ‘rebelotte’ A333F NEO would come very handy, with or without an A340F NEO ‘au bout’ (whichever, basically for ULH missions), not to continue letting Boeing get away with their airfreighters unchallenged, as is the case today !
Rather than just a GTF for the A380NEO, would a shrouded prop-fan fit?
Or rather, a counter-rotating integrated shrouded propfan (CRISP). The counter-rotating fans boosts the propulsive efficiency and would enable bypass ratios to be as high as 20 to 25:1 while the fan diameter remains unchanged.
In fact, what about putting two CRISP fans on the new Rolls Royce ultra fan engine. The first fan would be running on the low pressure spool, while the second fan could be mounted on a 3:1 fan drive reduction gear system on the counter-rotating intermediate-pressure spool, while the high-pressure spool would counter-rotate to the intermediate-pressure-spool.
Of course, I guess I assumed any modern prop-fan would be contra-rotating since the Soviet Union managed it in 1990 with NK-93, as well as with the non-shrouded D-27 currently in production for military.
As you point out, GTF has synergies with that approach, so why not combine them?
It seems like the Western focus has been on non-shrouded prop-fans for some reason, despite noise issues, yet the shrouded approach is known and simply more effective there. GTF may help reduce noise further.
Interesting to see what will power the forthcoming UAC-COMAC JV short-medium haul widebody project, given that history.
I believe that NK-93 development was eventually funded to completion even though by that time there was no application for it, solely to mature understanding of that architecture.
“Timing of such an offering will depend on aircraft makers, he said, with Airbus unlikely to unveil a new small plane before 2025, while Boeing is also busy building its 737 Max well into the next decade.
The Chicago-based planemaker, the world’s largest, is gauging airline appetite for a medium-size transcontinental aircraft to replace its 757. Rolls-Royce would explore the opportunity to power such a plane, Schulz said.”
I have just reviewed the Air New Zealand interim financial results. Nothing earth-shattering, but the 787-9 is expected to impact the airline’s capex starting from FY15 onwards. This could mean that deliveries of this frame, judging by Air New Zealand’s capex only, will not occur until the second half of the 2014 calendar year. So in general terms, the expected delivery window can be rephrased from “mid 2014” to “second half of 2014”
I missed Airbus webcast this morning.
Did they mention the number of A380 to deliver this year? Thanks.
30 deliveries are planed for this year.
Did they say the number during the conference or do you “happen to know”?
It was announced by Fabrice Bregier during the annual press conference last month. He said the rate will stay at 30 per year for 2014, 2015*, 2016 and 2017.
* Tom Enders added Emirates has agreed to take the remaining 2015 delivery slots.
Thanks. I wanted to make sure that the chart published in my blog is still valid.
Your confirmation validates it.
We can now say that GTF is the wave of the future.
GE should join the bandwagon soon.
Suddenly people are designing airplanes. Wow. Me, I am pretty lucky to get up and find my way to work in the morning and I do tech work (not engine tech).
I couldn’t even design part of what I work on.
We can say that the 2025 engine is wayyyyy to late for the A330 NEO.
So we either de-link the A380 NEO with the A330 NEO and get into how the economics work (or don’t)
Me, I am staying tuned to real hardware that is either in production or in test stages.
On the other hand, If I take an A380 wing and take two engine off, put an A330 fuselage on it, add an engine in the tail I could fly around the world. GTF in the wing engines and of course the new Adaptive GE engine in the tail. What not to like?
Why is everybody here so excited about this announcement? Rolls has dissolved their single aisle partnership with P&W and now announces they are finally going to develop a GTF in about 6 years. How long have P&W been working on the GTF? Won’t they have a 6 year advantage on GTF technology over Rolls or GE for that matter?
The dates don’t exactly provide for much excitement either. They seem to me to be too late for everything except the NSA’s which I believe P&W and GE will have locked up between them.
Well, the GTF is just part of the picture. For sure, RR will be able to offer a 15:1 bypass ratio with geared architecture, but look at the overall pressure ratio of 70:1 — Wow!
The GE9X will have an overall pressure ratio of “only” 60:1. Hence, an RR engine featuring a 70:1 overall pressure ratio will be a major advancement. The GE9X is already “old tech”…. 😉
I think the geared turbo development is a lesson in persistence & faith for us all.
Pratt’s engineers, beancounters, executives, owners all kept believing, taking risks, looking stubborn working on the GTF concept for more then a decade, while loosing the NB market) until they believed the product was ready to be put in service. That was 1998.
Another 15 years of not giving up. investing and hard work later and we are in 2014, Pratt swapping the market. The biggest far more successful competitors turning their ships. There must be a good book in this..
Some news via http://www.aero.de.
A350 MSN0002 and MSN0004 together went up to the sky.
Nice pictures here: http://airinsight.com/2014/02/27/the-most-successful-flight-test-program/
Qantas is going to cut 5,000 jobs and 50 aircraft!
Entry in service of new A380, A320 and 787 will be delayed. All 767 will be retired in 2015. Six remaining 747-400 will be replaced by A330-200. Aircraft types will be reduced from 11 to 7 by 2016. The 12 A380 already in service will remain. Maybe 4 could be wet leased to Turkish Airlines.
My conclusion for the timing of this press release is that RR are looking for the following:
– Exclusive supplier on an A330/A380NEO in 2020 using ‘Advance’ (ref. Leeham’s comments regarding EA)
– Supplier on the 757/NSA using ‘UltraFan’ derivatives starting 2025.
– Trent XWB-1000 derivative on A350-1100 in 2022-3 (all the mood music coming out of airbus management is that ‘derivatives’ and ‘shareholder return’ are the new priorities, and so IMO any A360 ‘super-twin’ is a long way off).
All achievable investment and resource wise for Airbus I would have thought, but perhaps a stretch for RR (who’s management have also recently been emphasizing ROI) ?
BouncerN, please take a look at my addendum to your comment upthread.
“UltraFan” concept is scalable. First version could very well be for a single aisle application.
Share holder return is seemingly getting better all the time. However, one should keep in mind that while Boeing looks like a modular enterprise; that is, what’s perceived to be important is short-term speed and flexibility (i.e. laying off personnel when there’s a bust in the cycle) to ensure short-term maximization of shareholder value, Airbus looks more like an integral enterprise, where long term speed and stability as well as maximisation of stakeholder surplus are the primary objectives.
Hence, what may be said publically now by Airbus management about doing “only” derivative aircraft, doesn’t necessarily mean that that is the whole truth. The less they specifically say about future product developments, the better. It’s no point in revealing too much about what you’re going to do by the end of the decade. if that would help the competition planning ahead.
I think Airbus can do a lot of potentially worthwhile derivatives expanding segment reach, A322 NEO, A330NEO (lengths tbd), A350-1100, A350F, A380-900 NEO.
“As for an A360X “super twin”, it would have new 100,000lbs thrust class engines; something that’s already flying on the 777-300ER and which are under development for the 777X. ”
How’s that going to work? In Boeing sales seat config the ‘super-twin’ would have what? 500 seats? So it would have >130 seats on top of the 77W, and 30klbs less thrust? Or it would have >90 seats more than the 779 and still less thrust (I don’t believe the 779 will end up with less than 115klbs/engine – happy to be proven wrong when the first takes to the sky). Weight between the 772 and the 773 seems to have gone up 20%, in line with marketing seat counts? Here you increase seat count by 30% to the 77W, or about 25% compared to the 779, yet you reduce thrust? How is that going to work and stay in the 80X80 box? Magic? Sure you’re going to have 20 years of progress in terms of weight reductions, but still, I don’t see how the plane could way less than the 779, or how you could come up with a wing that has so much more lift that you overcome the weight drawback. You’ll probably end up needing some fairly hefty engines, in the thrust class of the current 77W engine or above, but >20% more efficient. And the engine manufacturers have to develop these for how many sales exactly? Then the next thing, this super twin would have to be a clean-sheet design. So USD15-20bn thrown at a market that may or may not exist, killing a product that at least has a proven (if small) market. Don’t you think the ROI would be much better on spending money on re-engining and weight-reducing or stretching the A380 to get seat-mile cost down?
My response is downthread.
I have no idea who came up with a A360 “Supertwin”. Filling up the gap between an A350-1100 and the A380 seems a low priority for Airbus.
The only SpuerTwin” I see down the line is using the big 777x wing and GE9X with GE90-115 like thrust ratings. The 777-8X seems a still born idea against the way lighter A350-1000 and would risk making the 777X a one trick pony.
We aren’t talking about anything like 407 seats with realistic 3-4 class configuations anyway if todays 773ER configuarations mean anything.
I’d guess that I did. Guy Norris talked about a “mega twin”:
100,000lbs thrust class engines doesn’t really mean “only” 100,000lbs of thrust. It would encompass a new family of engines with a trust class spanning, say, 95,000lbs to 115,000lbs of thrust; or thrust level differentiation just like any other engine family.
The smallest member of this notional super twin family should have a MTOW of about 350 metric tonnes and be outfitted with a triple bogie landing gear (i.e. about the maximum amount of weight possible for a triple bogie MLG). Larger family members would use an additional centre landing gear bogie. The wing should be slightly larger than the one on the 777X in order to accommodate higher MTOW levels (i.e. >400 tonnes MTOW). With a wing span of 75m, the smallest 350 tonne MTOW version should be able to use an engine with just over 100,000lbs of thrust. A re-engined A350-1000 would use a de-rated engine with 97,000lbs of thrust.
As for the super twin, the A380 and ROI, please take a look at a previous comment of mine:
As for market size; it’s not there today. It might be a whole different story, though, by the end of the next decade when air travel will have doubled in size from that of today.
I think it’s fantasy, sorry. Let’s check back in 10 years.
Fantasy for you perhaps, but maybe not for sources familiar with Airbus’s product development work who are apparently saying that the “New Long Range (NLR) project” is attracting growing interest again as Airbus seeks a response to the 777X. 😉
Maybe I grant you. Perhaps I don’t 😉 I think Airbus would be remiss not to look seriously into it. I just don’t think that the outcome of this look will leave the drawing board this side of 2030.
2030 is only 5 years after my notional EIS for an A360X. 🙂
Why are all you guys looking down the Airbus alley another ten years or so ? To find what you’re looking for, it suffizes to look BACK to 23rd April 2001, or 1st flight of A346 : adding an overwing Type A EE door to this 61 m long cabin would increase the exit limit to 550 pax, swapping the A346 quadri wing with a twin wing + fitting some snazzy (first come, first served, RR UltraFan seems late ?) engines and you have an … A336 NEO. The FAL is up n’running already, Airbus won’t need ten years to flip that pancake.
The partitioning of engine suppliers we see developing here in large twin aisle & multi deck products were in the first instance driven by Boeing.
RR had no real option, we see the result today with them falling into bed with Airbus, which given the current duopoly sales history indicates advantage Airbus.
That’s an astute observation. The GE/Boeing marriage has unfortunately led to what seems to be a trans Atlantic split on wide bodies.
Astute or not my contribution comes from a direct RR involvement on turbine development over many years. The trans Atlantic divide point you raise is a significant threat to GE & Boeing’s market share. Faced with a declining percentage share in a growing market will likely see the apparently cosy relationship between GE & Boeing turning stale. Declaring a separation from Boeing would ensure increased market penetration for GE, only achievable if they keep pace with RR technology.
I’m on record saying that GE’s refusal to develop an engine for the A350-1000 may turn out to be the biggest blunder ever in the LCA business. What goes around comes around. 😉
Clearly, RR is on a roll. 🙂 The Trent-700 and TXWB engines are massive successes and will help to pay for the new generation engines.
In regard to an A360X super twin, one aspect that has not been discussed, is that from the point of view of RR. They would more than likely jump on something that would put GE out of business in much of the wide body market, save for the 787 market segment.
I think GE will make sure they are on the A330 NEO. They missed out on the A350 by refusing to offer a good 80-90k lbs engine for it. Then the A350 almost complete took over the 300-350 segment the GE90 used to dominate and the first 777X will EIS in 2020. Not the best decision in hintsight.
I beg to differ.
First, RR seems to be more than willing to develop an Advance-type engine for an A330neo and an A380neo; 2nd, GE would then have to offer something at least as advanced as the GE9X, which the won’t; and 3rd, due to GE’s position on the A350-1000 Airbus will certainly not cater to GE’s wishes and put an old tech GEnx engine on the A330. What goes around comes around.
I think Airbus confirmed they are discussing Trent 1000 TEN and GENX-1 PiP II for a A330 NEO. Hundreds of slots before 2020, sharp prices and proven technology are among A330 NEO selling points that would be threatened by a fantastic, unproven and likely late all new engine..
I may be wrong, but I’ve yet to see any “official” Airbus confirmation that they are talking to GE about an A330neo. All the buzz seems to come from GE and GECAS. Airbus is talking to Pratt though.
As for slots post 2016, perhaps 200-300 sales to China for domestic use would help keep A330 production at current levels through the next 5-6 years. In addition to that, Airbus still holds the availability card and pricing flexibility vs. the 787. Hence, I can’t see why they should rush things by putting an antiquated engine on the A330, when they can wait another 2 years, or so, and re-engine the A330 with an engine that’s 8-10 percent more efficient than the GEnx-10.
As you’ve been trumpeting the case for a re-engined A330 for ages, ,-) I don’t understand why you’re seemingly so hung up on the Trent-1000 and/or the GEnx. Putting those engines on the A330 will not close the gap to the 787. Using an RRAdvanced engine on the other hand, should more than close the gap. Therefore, an A330neo/Advance combination looks to be a much more of a direct threat to the 787. Even a stretched A330-400neo should be doable and would be highly competitive with the 787-10.
As for your scepticism of putting an Advance-type engine on an A330neo; why should it be such a difficult thing to do? It will have about the same technologies and TSFC as that of the GE9X and nobody seems to say that the GE9X is such a “fantastic, unproven and likely late all new engine..”
I’m not the one claiming the A330 NEO can’t be as efficient as the 787. Until recently everybody seemed to agree the 787 is 10-12% better then the A330. Every seems to agree with GE a 2018 GenX can be 13-15% better then the A330s CF6-80s. And that sharklets can do a percent or tow. That some weight can be cut out if you take a few years. That for shorts flights 9 abreast is possible and 8 abreast gives superior comfort vs 9 abreast 787. That the higher A330 nose wheel option increases rest value and gives room for higher BPR engines.
Still an A330 NEO matching 787 efficiency is a taboo. It just can’t. Full stop. Period. No need to add things up.. Maybe the 787 is 18% iso 11% better then A330 afterall. (a pre-emptive Randy slide I expect any day now).
“I may be wrong, but I’ve yet to see any “official” Airbus confirmation that they are talking to GE about an A330neo. All the buzz seems to come from GE and GECAS.”
We reported that GE was pushing hard for the GEnx on the A330neo and Leahy later confirmed this to a couple of audiences.
OK. Scott. Thanks.
Keesje, let’s just agree to disagree on this one then. 😉
IMJ though, a 20 percent more efficient RR Advance engine for an A330neo, in addition to some airframe enhancements, should more than enable the A330 to at least match the 787 in fuel burn per seat (i.e. 8 abreast vs. 9 abreast).
I think that it is safe to assume better newbetter engines will be introduced on the 787 too.
At some point in the future, yes, but not in the same time span that we are talking about for the A330neo. The Trent 1000-TEN should EIS in 2016. I don’t think RR will be willing to offer anything new for the 787 until they have reached a reasonable ROI on the T1000 programme, and a RR Advance engine designed for an A330neo would have to undergo a substantial redesign in order to make it both bleedless and optimal for the 787 platform. As for an all new GE engine; well they’re busy developing the LEAP-1A/1B and the GE9X, so I wouldn’t bet on a new suitable engine for the 787 from GE before 2024/2025.
Looks as if a 200 x A330 order may be imminent: http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/avd_02_28_2014_p03-01-667434.xml
Further evidence of a A330neo in 2020? Using RR ‘Advance’ (ref. ‘Rolls-Royce is in “light discussions” with Airbus about developing more fuel-efficient engines for the A330 and A380…’)?
A huge order indeed, and which seems again to confirm that an A330neo doesn’t have to EIS in 2018….. 🙂
Also, it’s no coincidence IMJ that Rolls Royce is now revealing detailed information on the Advance and UltrFan engine designs. Clearly, they’re prepared to offer engines that are based on the Advance design for the A330 and the A380. RR: “Any solution they want to go for, we will have a solution for them.”
Behind the scenes, Boeing seems to have gone all out in China trying to stop the short-range “regional” version of the A330-300 dead in its Chinese tracks.
you are not alone in the imagination. Reengined 787-11, 747-9 reengined (500 seats), 767 reengined … Easy to make his buzz when you have nothing to lose … But imagination is not reality …
Putting a new engine on the 787 could be an option. Question is when does Boeing start making money on the 787 if they have to invest in a new engine project before they have broken even on the program? Whats the latest break even estimate? 1000? 1200? 1400?
As for MAXing the 747 or 767, I am pretty certain most here agree that those birds have flown. Just in case you hadn’t heard, the 767 was replaced with something called the 787 and Boeing recently did re-engine the 747-8 and the results are, unfortunately, not that good.
Actually, I’m of the opinion that Boeing should have nixed the 777X in favour of new re-winged 787 Family; and then for the mid 2020s; an all new Boeing “super twin”. Instead, Boeing is leaving an open flank for Airbus to come in and severely curtail the product development planning at Boeing for a generation.
787-10LRX (3 frames shorter than the 787-10, higher MTOW, +9000nm range)
787-11X (9 frame stretch, 8000nm range; similar MTOW to the dash 10LRX
787-12X (8 frame stretch, 8000nm range; higher MTOW)
The all new wing would have been similar in size to the one on the A350.
747-9 would not only have to get an all new wing, in order to be competitive, but rather a switch to two engines as well. I’m not sure, though, that using the 45 year old, 747 legacy platform would be the best option if Boeing were to create a “super twin”.
As for the 767; first, if Boeing back in the 1990s had used the Section-41 757 windshield on a 737NG that would have had a new taller landing gear — and made it fully fly-by-wire using the 777 cockpit; and 2nd, if the 787 had been built using the same Section-41 as that of the 777; then perhaps a re-engineered fully fly-by-wire, re-winged 767 using 777 systems, cockpit and avionics; then perhaps a re-engined 767 would have made perfect sense. In that alternative universe, Boeing would have had common cockpits an their entire LCA portfolio. In fact, the original 757/767 design was a smart move, but which unfortunately, IMJ, was never carried through to the maximum extent possible in such a way as to provide Boeing with a logical common cockpit and systems architecture.
A 90 m long 747-9i? A 787-11 to compete with 777-8X? With less range than current A330-200?
I expect a reengined 767-2C in about 20 years to reduce fuel burn on Pegasus tanker fleet.
I expect an A330GTF and the engine maker to pay close to 100 % of development costs.
Its not unreasonable to expect a reengine of the 767 tanker fleet some time in the future. The fleet size should be large enough to make it feasible.
After fullfilling the tanker contract I don’t see any civilian orders for that line however, so the reengine will be quite a time after end of production and have no (civilian) market impact.
From the Aviation Week article OV-99 linked above, there is an interesting quote at the very end about the wing design for an A380 NEO, “Williams says he does not want to “get sucked into doing a new wing” as part of the revamp. For the A380 in fact, there could be an argument for making the wing smaller because the current one was designed with a stretched aircraft in mind.”
I am wondering why the authour added that last sentence. It certainly contradicts what Williams is indicating. Surely he wouldn’t believe that making a wing smaller is not a new wing?!
Yes a 787-NGX Familly is more plausible and I think Boeing could prepare such a program while reducing development costs! I have already mentioned this solution in 2008 on a French forum discussion.
The idea of a 747 Twin also in 2008 on the same forum. But a lot of water flow under the bridge since then, and there is now the 777X that 747 can not beat any time soon because the 777 is structurally more efficient and powerful engine will not be ready before 2030/2030 + !
I think the best solution would be a 747-9X with wings compisite as 777-X (747-8 wings are not composite), folding a wingspan of 75 meters, 80 meters long, 500 seater, 15200 km concept ranks 4 engines!
Well, a 787NGX-family is far less plausible now that Boeing has committed to the 777X. The 777X wing is too big for a 787NGX and too small for a Boeing “super twin”. In fact, the 777X wing seems to be the first Boeing wing that will not have a built-in growth potential.
Since wing development accounts for about 40 percent of the total costs for an all new airliner, an OEM should carefully plan its product development strategies. especially when it comes to wing-sizing. Hence, doing an all new 787NGX-wing and then, an all new wing for a super twin shortly after 777X EIS, caused by the “sudden” appearance of an Airbus A360X, would be a massive waste of resources.
As for an all new composite wing for a quad powered 747-9X; it doesn’t make any sense — sorry. 😉 Such an all new composite wing should instead be developed for an all new Boeing super twin; even if it would mean that the development effort for the all new composite wing for the 777X turns out to be a wasted effort. If, on the other hand, Boeing would choose to upsize the wing on the 777X and make it compatible — if at all possible — with a new super twin that could be under development a decade hence; OK, then we’re talking. However, up-sizing the 777X wing would, of course, make the current 777-9X heavier and less competitive with the A350-1000, so it’s not a very realistic scenario.
The 747 family is dead and the -8 is the last iteration. If Boeing wanted to do a “747-9” i.e. something bigger than a 747-8 and with new engines, they’d either build a new frame or base it on the 777, a -10 or -11.
If together with the 787 Boeing had decided to re-engine the 767 also, EIS 2008, winglets, 280 seats, signature interior, 400ER cockpit, the Chinese, US transcon and leisure fleets would have looked different IMO.
From what I can find, an A333NEO and a 787-9 have similar weights. If they have similar engines, then there are really only the more modern wing of the 787 (although I always thought the A330 wing was pretty good), and other aerodynamic or secondary systems improvements that could lead to better fuel burn? But then the Airbus 330 has a seat advantage, so that should make up for at least some of the difference. What am I missing?
Maximum Range, Fully loaded (Wikipedia):
787-9 9,210–9,780 nmi
A330-300 6,100 nmi
It seems the 787 has much more range, almost 1/3.
I’ve read comments that some airlines are replacing the 777 on certain routes with a 787. Reason could be loss of market share against emirates and co. Or they only used 777s there because of the required range and the 787 is a better match to real demand which allows for better yields.
Sounds like an exclusive market segent for the 787.
Ah yes, range 🙂 Still, with a NEO the range of the A330 will by necessity increase, maybe to about the range of the 787-10 today?
Maximum Range, Fully loaded (Wikipedia):
787-9 9,210–9,780 nmi
A330-300 6,100 nmi
Are you sure? ..
Anyway the range above 6000nm is probably small & I’m not looking forward to spend > 12 hours in a 17 inch wide seat..
About a bigger wing for the 787, the 787-9 was planned to have a bigger span then the 787-8. It seems Boeing had enough on the table building the 787-8 wing and decided not to build another one. Now the -10 gets it too. The result is IMO payload range taking a hit & the A350-900 taking over the long haul segment the 777(-200ER) currently dominates.
Interesting argument, you may be right about that wing size beeing problematic. I think we’d need a paylod/range diagram.
If you want a 1:1 replacement for an 777 you go A350, 787 for downgauging, 777-X for upgauging. I don’t see those planes as direct competitors. If all options are in the same ballpark in terms of fuel burn/seat I think purchase decisions will be driven by right sizing airline capacity.
“I’m not looking forward to spend > 12 hours in a 17 inch wide seat”
Personally I agree, In Eco I won’t mind a stop for >4h flights. When Flying Business I would opt for nonstop however.
But Emirates’ success is proof, there is a market for dirt cheap cattle class (10 abreast on 777).
If the wing was really the issue, Boeing could build a higher MTOW -8 or stretch 8.5. The choice between the 787-9 and the A350-900 is the cabin width. You only get one chance to get that right, and I think Boeing ended up in a Bermuda Triangle trying to do a 767 replacement that could be nine abreast, that ended up being nine abreast, but is not the optimal nine abreast. Advantage A350.
Brilliant decisions are the original A300 cross section, as evidenced by the continued success of the A330 and possible huge new order for China. And, Boeing’s decision to go from 8 to 9 abreast on the 777 which helped its success.
Aero Ninja, I think you dramatize (doom & gloom?). Boeing has a better benefit which its competitor margin. Moreover admittedly Christian Streiff, Airbus group aims to increase profit margin at Boeing, or do more.
This is the challenge for Airbus group. I’re not the link. Sorry!
Skymark Airlines received its first of 10 A330 with 273 premium economy seats for service between Tokio-Haneda and Fukuoka. First A330 to operate within Japan. No link, sorry!
Seven abreast, 38″ pitch, nice! I guess the A380 will be at nine abreast?
I’m in no way trying to portray Boeing as being in any sort of trouble. I was merely trying to point out that their is no business case to put new engines on the 767 and that the 747-8 is not selling well at all, thus not really making much of a business case for a 747-9 either.
As for the 737 (both pre and post MAX), the 787 and the 777, I am sure all is quite well.