Pontifications: Pratt & Whitney uses COVID crisis to catch up on GTF fixes

By Scott Hamilton

June 8, 2020, © Leeham News: Pratt & Whitney struggled since its new Geared Turbo Fan engine entered service in 2016 to fix technical, reliability and operational issues.

Plagued by premature engine removals as parts, other than the gear box, failed, Airbus A320neos stacked up in Toulouse and Hamburg while new engines were diverted to operators with aircraft out of service.

India’s regulator issued a grounding order of GTF-powered neos. Shop visits for repairs and modifications overwhelmed PW. The mess cost PW parent United Technologies (now Raytheon Technologies, following a merger) billions of dollars.

Working its way out of this mess was forecast to take into 2021.

Now, with COVID-19 impacts grounding airliners by the thousands, PW is using this as an opportunity to speed replacement and reworked engine deliveries.

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Performance Improvement Packages (PIPs) will be ready this summer.

“If there is any silver lining in the environment we’re in today, it is likely around the GTF and the retrofit,” Raytheon CFO Toby O’Brien said during a UBS webcast last week. “We are utilizing available shop capacity to fix the issues in the fleet. Our goal is to have GTF engines with enhancements by the end of the year as the recovery plays out.”

Losing money on every engine

PW loses money on each GTF it delivers. This is not unusual in a new engine program with any manufacturer. Because of steep discounts, sometimes up to 80%, it may take 10 years or more for an OEM to make money on the sales. The business model for decades was built around making profits on parts, maintenance and overhauls.

The global fleet grounding and pause in delivering new airplanes reduces the loss.

“We lose money every time we ship an engine, and so there’s actually good news from the lower production on the GTF,” Raytheon CEO Greg Hayes said on the 1Q2020 earnings call last month. “That is offset somewhat by the lack of absorption [overhead costs], so all of the negative engine margin that we would typically see is not all going to flow to the bottom line. You’ve got lack of absorption and, importantly, you’re coming down the learning curve. You take 5% to 10% of the cost out every year. That’s going to be slower as volumes go down.

“Overall, you’re probably going to get about $100m of pick-up as a result of the lower volumes in GTF,” he said.

Aftermarket revenue hit

GTF engines entering PW’s maintenance shops are under warranty, adding to the costs and not producing revenue.

The virus crisis slowed induction of older generation PW engines as airplanes are parked. O’Brien, on the UBS webcast, said original engine and aftermarket revenue is down 50%.

Airlines that need engines or parts for reduced operations can, if desired, simply swap engines and parts from parked airplanes, said an advisory/technical firm that specializes in engines.

O’Brien said PW’s aftermarket is essentially in three pieces: the V2500, which is about half of market, with 6,000 engines and an average life 11 years. One third of fleet hasn’t seen first ship visit. The V2500 is principally on the A320ceo family. There are small numbers on the now-retired Boeing MD-90 and fewer still on the new Embraer KC-390.

The second piece of PW’s engine aftermarket is from the PW 2000/4000 engines. This represents about 25% of aftermarket. The PW2000 is on Boeing 757s and the PW4000 on a variety of Boeing and Airbus widebodies. O’Brien said there will continue to be accelerated retirements. The average age of the engines is 20-25 years old.

The third piece, the final 25%, is the GP7000, GTF, GTF in retrofit and warranty stage. The GP7000, produced in a joint venture with GE Aviation, powers the Airbus A380. Early A380 retirements pulled forward a year or two the aftermarket business plan for this engine.

Hayes, on the earnings call, said that with fuel prices as low as they are, the need for new aircraft is probably somewhat lessened and airlines will fly some of the older, less efficient aircraft for a few more years to save on the capital of buying new airplanes.

Improving the GTF

PW’s Advance 2 improvement is in the works. This may be the project PW VP Rick Deurloo discussed in our March 30 post. He declined then to identify the name of the package; the reveal was planned for the now-canceled Farnborough Air Show. EIS is said to be planned for 2022-23. This parallels the timeline for testing and certification of the Airbus A321XLR.

44 Comments on “Pontifications: Pratt & Whitney uses COVID crisis to catch up on GTF fixes

  1. Pretty common for PWA Commercial Engines for the need to mature thru a range of modifications. Older customers knows this and plan for extra spare Engines until the big modification packages are rolled out after some troublesome years.
    It is a surprise that CFMI LEAP Engines are not that much better after having 18 development Engines running in the certification program.
    I am aware of RR also having initial problems on T-1000B/C/TEN…

    • RR and GE did the same thing on the 787 engines and RR will have to make many of those mods to the Trent 10 and 7000 as they were the core elements left from the Trent 1000

      Reports are the Super Trent 900 also had major issues.

      Or, if it was easy the Chinese would have copied it and done it.

  2. Positive cashflow is what matters in these uprecedented times. PW have a guaranteed positive cash inflow from the 50 billion dollar monopoly contact with the government for engines for the Lockheed F35 fighter. That helps.

    • Well we have the adaptive engine program looming so it may not be a monopoly.

      Cost of the engines is half what it was originally and generally its been very reliable and one of the few bright spots in the F-35 program.

      Too bad Lockheed can’t match it.

      • Lockheed is doing much better with both cost and performance on the F-35. The flyaway cost for the A-model will be below $80M for the majority of the production run. The actual manufacturing cost is below $70M (of which $13M is the engine), with the rest being R&D recovery.

        The weak point in readiness and reliability had been the ALIS system, that has now been scrapped and a new system being developed within the military. So should be improvements resulting from that.

        Support costs remain high and that is the next area of focus after the manufacturing cost goals are met. The per-flight-hour costs have declined from $57K initially to $35K currently, with a goal of $25K.

        The concurrency method of acquisition has resulted in additional costs to upgrade earlier aircraft. That will need to be decided and funded separately. After Block 4 aircraft, the needed upgrades will primarily be software.

        • As usual, lovely ignore the past and count on the promises of the future.

          Until they acualy replace ALIS and get enough spare parts, no, its a mess still. Way to many open items.

          The first 120 some are only fit for training. So mucked up and changes it cost more to fix it than by another one.

          Much like the Boeing 787 terrible teens.

          And all that washes over the compromised air-frame for the VTOL that all version are suck with.

          Much like the A380, success is just ten years down the road.

          We may be stuck with it but its been a horrible disaster.

          • Just pointing out that there has been progress, and that is likely to continue as the problems are sorted out. The F-35 has hit its flight performance targets (all 3 versions). The pilots who fly it have spoken well of it. It’s done well in the various flag exercises against other fighters.

            There have been some key parameter rollbacks. The sustained g-limits have been lowered and transonic acceleration time lengthened, due to weight considerations. Also time at high Mach and high altitude is limited due to skin heating in the tail..

            However pilots can exceed these limits if needed, and they have not been noted by pilots as a cause for concern. They are offset by other advantages.

            Every fighter development program has cost more than expected, has benefited from post-design revisions, and has drawn major criticism. Ultimately what matters is how the services view it and use it. Thus far, at least, the pilots and maintainers have been positive, and excited to have it.

            Surveys of pilots who’ve flown multiple US fighters rank it best overall, although it’s exceeded by other fighters in some individual categories. That’s expected of a multi-role fighter.

          • “Also time at high Mach and high altitude is limited due to skin heating in the tail..”

            limited to about 30 seconds. so if the chinese plane chasing them can keep it up for 45, the F-35 is dead if it needs to extend and escape (which is really the only reason for the F-35 to be supersonic at all)

          • Yes, 30 seconds without damage to the skin, mostly destroying the stealth surface, which can be repaired. If a pilot’s life is on the line, he/she isn’t going to worry about the damage.

            Many criticisms are of the limits that have been imposed, but the pilot can override all of them if necessary. The limits are intended to extend the life of the airframe and hold costs down.

            The A and C models are designed for 9 g’s instantaneous and have been tested above 10. At that point the pilot may not be conscious. The F-35 will not crash or depart if the pilot loses consciousness, the avionics will take over. The B model is only 7.5 g’s due to the lift fan limits.

            Combat g’s that allow the deployment of weapons are more on the order of 4 to 6. The F-35 sustained ratings are in that range, with the ability to exceed at the risk of extended costs and reduced aircraft life.

          • LOL. Met its specifications after roll back because it did not meet those specifications. Yeee hah.

            True, I have forgotten how man raises I got when I did not meet my specifications, must be in the millions.

            I am in that annoying group who thinks you should pay 50 million for 50 million value.

            Not 500 million for 50 million value.

            I can get a team together and make the proverbial lead sled fly.

            Sure cost a heck of a lot less to not start with the lead sled though.

            If I ran my personal life on that basis I would buy a 100k Lexus and have bankrupted us.

            As a taxpayer it pisses me off big time.

            And its never going to change that its comprised performance wise due the VTOL configuration the other two version have to live with (ala the Lead Sled)

          • Its in the weight class of the F-4 Phantom and the fuselage width over the air intakes is much the same even with a single engine and thats for compressor face masking – stealth
            The A model has a shorter wing span than the naval C model ( folding wing tips) but no real reason it couldnt have the same wing span

          • TW, I’ll end this here. I answered the points you raised about both cost and performance. Your views are not consistent with the facts or the evaluations of those who actually fly it. That won’t change so we’ll leave it at that.

          • Rob:

            You ignore the fact that the F-35 is not for the aviator, its for the defense of the United States.

            Those who bought it have a mixed motive, its a jobs program much like Airbus was (is)

            It may work, it will never work the way it should have and its cost us 4x what it should have with the Boeing promise of the fix is just over the horizon.

            You think any pilot is going to tell you its a piece of Junk?

            Much like Police officers turning a bad cop in. And yes I had an acquaintance who was as fine and ethical a human being there is who did not turn in his fellow officers when they cheated on an exam. He did not cheat but he did not turn them in either and took his punishment for his failure to do so.

            To think otherwise is to be into alternative facts.

          • Duke:

            Fusealge shape is critial to perfomance. The coke bottle fusalge was on solution to allow better aerdyanamics.

            Any time you put a fan in the middle you screw up the shape and form and you wind up with a cruddy airframe.

            Ergo, The F-35B drove the shape of the rest and its got poor range because of it.

            It also means there is a lot of drag.

            So it does not accelerate the way it was specified.

            So the answer is to waive the specs because they screwed up the program with the addition of the F-35B.

            The mantra is now it never gets into a dog fight. They have to pray not, because if it does its toast.

          • TW, you’re just repeating the common F-35 fallacies here. If you read my response to Steven below, you’d have a better understanding of KPP adjustments.

            For example, the greatest acceleration reduction was in the C-model, because of the greater wingspan and weight that was requested by the Navy for carrier service. The Navy cares more about strength, bring-back and safety & stability of carrier approach, than transonic acceleration.

            Also the KPP is for acceleration in level flight through the transonic region of greatest drag, as that is the worst case. In practice, pilots will yield altitude to compensate. They do that already anyway to reduce buffeting. And the vast majority of combat maneuvering is in other portions of the flight envelope.

            In fact, the F-35 is cited by pilots for excellent acceleration and recovery from low energy states during combat. This is necessary because its high-alpha maneuvers bleed off energy. It was never designed to be an EM fighter like the F-16, so it won’t fight on EM terms. It has other talents that the F-16 lacks.

            The “toast” argument has been refuted by the flag exercises. It does get into dogfights and it holds its own against other aircraft. But it uses different tactics because it has a different design philosophy.

            It will never be an air dominance fighter, but that is not it’s mission. That role is left to the F-22, and in uncontested airspace, the F-15 and F-16 in air-to-air configurations. Like the F-18, the F-35 is first and foremost a strike fighter, with competent combat capabilities.

          • Also with regard to the coke bottle argument, that is the “area rule” which was a breakthrough in transonic design when it appeared, as it minimized transonic drag in a period when engines could not easily overcome it.

            With modern engines, the area rule has been less important as they have sufficient power. Fighters in the modern era have not been based on this rule, and this does not make them poor performers.

            Variable geometry wings were also a breakthrough at the time they appeared, but are no longer needed with modern designs.

        • So wait a minute Lockheed won the design competition based in part on a promised future feature set it’s now scrapped as unfeasible? I hope lawmakers will keep this in mind and not forget so soon in the future dealings with this company.

          • Steven, it helps to understand that KPP’s (Key Performance Parameters) are a wish list established as a first step by the military, for the attributes they hope the aircraft will have. They are established before it’s known whether they are feasible or not.

            Thus they are subject to change throughout the design, build, and testing phases. But importantly, they can only be changed by the military, not by Lockheed. The military must determine the impact of the change on the aircraft’s design mission, to be either not significant or addressable in some way.

            Reasons for adjustment might be that a KPP is not possible with existing technology. Or that it’s possible but the cost is too high. Or that two or more KPP’s are in conflict, such that a compromise must be struck. Or that a KPP would reduce service life, or increase maintenance. Or that a KPP creates a life-safety issue.

            Thus a KPP adjustment is a process refinement, rather than a failure as TW (and many other critics) have implied. Any engineer who has worked on a complex project that pushes technological limits, will recognize that revisions are expected. Especially needed when the acquisition method is concurrency, with initial production while still in the development phase.

            The military sometimes rejects KPP adjustments, and either cancels the project or sends the designers back to the drawing board. An example is the vision system on the KC-46, the military insisted on a full redesign because they knew better was possible.

            The F-35 B model was nearly cancelled because of weight issues. Lockheed formed a team and got the weight down, then had problems with bulkhead strength, which also had to be resolved. But it did eventually work without adjusting the KPP.

            With the cost issue, the military has leaned on Lockheed to meet the KPP cost goals. They struggled at first to merge the production lines for the 3 models, but have finally succeeded and the costs are now on target.

            A similar process is on-going for flight costs, those will have to come down further to meet the KPP.

            The KPP changes I described for g-limits, acceleration times and high altitude Mach, all were reviewed by the military and not deemed significant to the F-35 mission. I could go into further detail on those if you wish, please let me know if you want me to write more.

            There’s been much criticism of cost overruns for the F-35. Those have largely been in development and initial production, as the cost per aircraft is now on target and falling, To a large extent, the military has favored accepting higher cost rather than adjusting KPP’s. That’s an important point to consider. The military really wants those features.

            Another criticism has been that it’s the most expensive military project ever. The reason for that is Congress saw that the project, spanning all the services and with a 50 year lifespan, had huge potential for cost runaway. So they required the Pentagon to report full life-cycle costs of the entire life of the eventual F-35 fleet, which is an incredibly huge number.

            If you look at the cost of an individual F-35, it’s nowhere near the most expensive aircraft or fighter. It’s actually cheaper than the newest F-15 and about 10% more than the latest F-18.

            Lastly for a program with such large development costs, you can see that a large production run is needed (thousands of aircraft) to recover R&D. Without that run, the program suffers a death spiral with the cost per aircraft exploding. That happened with the F-22, but thus far at least, not with the F-35. Orders have been increasing rather than decreasing.

  3. It would be interesting to know how the relative efficiencies of LEAP vs GTF are playing out, is it too soon to tell? I understood that the GTF has an inherent advantage in the ongoing development for which the LEAP has no answer going forward.

    • I’ve search on that subject a few times and I haven’t found any data newer than 2018. A company like Delta that runs (or had been using) all types of single aisle planes must know exactly how everything stacks up. They do not have the Leap engine, but I have always been under the impression that airlines talk amongst themselves about aircraft performance. I would presume since they are running all their new A220-100s, and are getting ready to take their first -300, that this means those GTFs must be pretty efficient.

  4. The difference appears to be …
    P&W are simply working out the teething difficulties with the GTF. engines .
    CFM. and RR. however , are struggling with more fundamental difficulties , related to their pushing the engine-technology too far and too fast .
    The new Pratt. engines do not push the technological envelope nearly as hard as the CFM and RR ones , and so their components are not nearly as highly stressed . The gear-mechanism itself has proved itself reliable , and has given the company’s customers the great fuel savings they requested . In future , look for the industry to move strongly to first ; geared-turbofan , and then contra-rotating turbofan .

    • Engine fan diameter, pressure ratio and mass are important besides reliability and costs if the nacelle is optimally placed on the wing. PW with the launch customer Qatar Airways should have been able to influence Airbus of its preferred engine position on the wing.
      LEAP-1A fan dia 78 in, OPR T-O 40:1, mass 3008kg
      PW1133G fan dia 81 in, OPR T-O approaching 40:1, mass 2858kg
      We will see what the PW1100G A321XLR 35k engine with all its improvements partly funded by EU thru MTU will achieve and any new problems introduced. So on paper, if PWA really reaches the high pressure ratios with good compressor efficiency it sounds like having the upper hand when not AOG. I guess when LH gets their LEAP-1A engines comparisons will be easier.

      • Derek has it right. While P&W has had issues around the edges (seals and such) the Trany is working amazingly well as is the core (which was spun off as the core for a straight TF which is doing well)

        The term for RR and GE is exotic materials.

        Those are costly R&D, and to build and to trouble shoot (though RR has some more fundamental issue in not understanding their engine core)

        It reminds me of the death spiral of the piston engine for airliners. The last was a turbo compounding nightmare reliability, maint and repair wise.

        Its no accident that they jumped right past Turbo Prop to Jet engines.

        • The US jumped past turbo props – mostly, while UK pursued both and because of their more advanced turbine engine development could do so.
          The Comet first flew in 1949 and turbo props were the Viscount, Vanguard from Vickers and the long range Britannia from Bristol.
          You could say it was Douglas and Lockheed who stuck with the piston engines for far too long from Pratt and Wright

          • Boeing and Douglas both recognized that turbo was only marginal better for a LCA

            Ergo, the 707 and the DC-8.

            UK played with too many variations and lost out. Note that P&W is the premier world Turbo Prop builder, not RR (the Turbo they have they got when they picked up Allison who was a premier builder)

            US took the best option (turbo jet) and went with it and optimized it then morphed into the Turbo Fan.

          • The DC8 and 707 were designed as the answer to USAF fast tankers to match the B52. Not an airline requirement. They required super long runways only USAF bases had.
            The Viscount first flew in 1948, long before a US jet was on the horizon, in fact the French Caravelle was the first small jet airliner …with a British engine and help from de Havilland.
            Pratts turboprops are tiny things the PT6 . Nothing on the world leading RR Dart.
            The turbo prop Constellation( L-1249, 1954) was for a possible Navy/Air Force requirement , the airlines werent interested and there was no quad US passenger jet on the horizon at that time- 707 first flight , start of 1959.

            The size of US market was the reason the UK lost out , as buying foreign would get an airline punished by the FAA

          • @Duke: first flight of Boeing 367-80 (707 prototype) was 1954. First orders for 707 and DC8, 1955. EIS 707 Oct 1958. EIS DC8, Sept 1959. Development of Convair 880 began in 1956.

          • That’s very true, around that time the UK was very concerned about the loss of market to the US. That loss was one factor in driving the Concorde development.

            During and (for a time) after the war, the UK had been world-leading in engine & aircraft innovation and development.

            But the war effort had provided a large infrastructure, as well as research & development boost to the US. And a huge military budget that had never existed before (the US military-industrial complex). So advancements became more readily achievable in the US.

            Airbus has now leveled that out again, at least for the commercial market, which is a significant achievement.

          • During the War the US was the leading Aircraft and Engine mfg.

            UK never came close to the Radials that were hugely successful with the US Navy and on all the US Bombers.

            The only eninge of note was the Merlin, and it in fact wass inferior to the Allsion in all areas but one. The one area the Brits did get fullo on right was super charger and then the two state super chare (which the USN used on its radials)

            It was the USAF in a bit of gross incompeance that insidtes that turbo chgargers were treh way to go and would not allow Allison to devopoe the lgoicail supercharger patch

            The only aircraft that worked on was the P-38, and it only gained its full legs in the Pacific as pilots of the time could barley handle a single engine aircraft. With good pilots it was a vastly superior aircraft. While Europe got adequately covered by the P-51 /P-47 (Spitfire never had the range) the P-38 came into its own in the Pacific (and a vastly nastier environment than the nice runways of Europe)

            While UK did indeed start out well on the jet engine, they never got to the J47 like the US did that was powerful, reliable and fairly fuel efficient.

            You can harp all you want on markets, just a fact of life that the US being much bigger and a supported military development went on to beat all comers in engine and aircraft.

            Europe failed miserably to deal with its issues (Germany) and suffered the consequences.

            Or as my brother is want to say, If ands and buts were candy and nuts we would all have a merry Christmas .

            You buys your decision and youse live with the consequences.

            For all the other failures of integration and duplicate programs in air and defense, Airbus is the one example of something that worked.

            Trillions of buck on failures and duplication vs one success? hmmm

          • “first flight of Boeing 367-80 (707 prototype)”
            It wasnt a 707 prototype it was the KC-135 prototype and wasnt suitable for passenger service .
            The 707 development of the 367-80 had a wider fuselage which was widened again for the 707-120 to compete with Douglas.
            Cross section drawings show structurally significant changes from the dash 80 to the 707-120 which first flew Dec 20 1957 ( which is why I said 1958)

            The point I wanted to make was the turbo prop “neo” was available for the Constellation long before an airline could get a new model jet into quantity service and the range was significantly less, along with a lower cruising altitude. This was an era when a Coast Ship was stationed between California and Hawaii to rescue any 4 engine piston planes that didnt make it

            The advantages for Boeing for its massive military business showed with the B707 and KC-135 produced in parallel and carried on later with 747 where even the automatic riveting machines had been used for B-52 work.

          • The American P-51 Mustang was a British spec aircraft, using licensed British engines. Britain made many other contributions to American technology. They didn’t have the manufacturing base of the US and also suffered extensive destruction of facilities during the war.

            Americans take enormous credit for their post-war dominance, and much of that is valid. But it’s also true that American infrastructure was built-up tremendously during the war, while most of the rest of the world was wrecked.

            I think the ascendance of Airbus is a more realistic representation of true abilities.

          • The P-51 with British licensed engine ( Merlin) came later , it was initially built with a US V12 , the Allison V-1710 and was only suitable for low medium altitude work.

          • True. And well done to RR for getting the setup to work, Supercharging and detonation and decent engine life (Merlin was pretty low) are all tough slogs.

            But if you research the Allison history, you find some stunning stupidity on the USAA part.

            While not trying to knock the UK, their approach was a hands on fitter aspect. I have worked on UK products, they use 4 bolts when the US uses 1.

            Allison could only go where the USAA wanted them and they did not want Supercharges in both stages, they want Turbo.

            They knew the P-51 would loose performance with a single super charger and it was impossible to fit a Turbo (P-47 could and did but you know what its fuselage shape was like)

            So what do they do? Walla, fit an RR and dump the same Allison they insisted not do that.

            The Merlin was better in that single aspect.

            Otherwise the Allison had more power, simpler, modular and vastly more reliable. 750 hours overhaul time vs 150 for the Merlin.

            Allison literally had one hand tied behind its back.

            The P-38 had two stage, one super and one turbo. It had outstanding high altitude performance.

            Allison was more capable than the Merlin, it literately was choked to death.

            The UK engine had hand fitted gaskets out of raw stock. US used pre made gasket sets.

            Between much longer overhaul times and simple things like that, availability was vastly better and quicker, less logistics.

            While the British system worked fine in the UK due to proximity, it had to be a nightmare over seas.

            There is a reason the UK used so many US aircraft and tanks.

          • They did build the C-133.

            7500 shp on the engines and 200 passengers.

            Sadly it had serious issues with wings breaking in flight.

            Still any military aircraft like that is compromised for the purposes of what they need for cargo movement.

            At the time (still is with the C-130) a turbo prop application.

          • I’m more curious about the T57 engine than the C-132 plane. It didn’t make it past flight testing, but the T57 is still tied with the NK-12 for the largest turboprop engine ever to fly, and it’s still the largest single-rotation turboprop to get in the air. That this engine still holds records doesn’t say much for our technical advancements, IMO … people who were born around that time are now approaching retirement age.

            Perhaps earlier experience of working with large gearboxes would’ve made PW and other engine makers comfortable with building geared turbofans decades sooner. (The 15,000 hp of the T57 is only marginally smaller than the 16,000 hp on PW’s smallest GTF, which flies on the Embraer E175-E2.) Or maybe there would be larger turboprop aircraft options than the Q400.

  5. P&W will be pushing GE to the MAX (pun intended)

    GE can lower their outlay by being less aggressive on A320 series and still have a good market .

    P&W will pick up the A320 line more and more with the superior engine.

    P&W can add exotic materials as time goes on as well as variable vanes and stay significantly ahead.

    GE alwyas beat RR on the A380 by a good 3% and the difference is going to be at least 5% with the PW GTF vs the LEAP.

    • Good pickup, I had not seen that. Also odd as GE at least has exclusive on the 737. Did RR not get that on the A350?

      Conecture wise you have to wonder if RR met the minium issued specifaion but did not exceed it like kthey said they wouild on the A350.

      All their recetn engines have failed to do so. GE also fell short but not as much and correct ont he GenX. RR never caught up (3 shaft costs more up front and is more costly maint wise due to that compleixt.

      Its supposed to return supeiro fuel usage in return.

      This likely has aspects of the Trent 900 issues on the A380 that have been unspecified. Reports are fan blade issues.

      The Pip II that dethroned GP7000 with Emirates had hot comments from TC that it was failing to meet its promises (duh, he had a 7% increase he believed in and only an all new engine would achiever that, sans the Trent TEN which never did on the 787)

      Maybe conclusion is Airbus stuck with RR and not happy with what they are getting and want to break out of the cage.

      And what the whole downturn does to R&D (Ultra) as well as the Trent 1000/Ten/7000 fixes?

      It would seem Airbus has no faith in Ultra.

  6. Anyone know how much of an improvement this summer’s PIP will give, 2%?

    • I would not be surprised to see 5%, but that is a guess. 2% would be a minimimum, 3-5% would be the target.,

    • Im thinking the regular PIP for new build engines will go back to being a longer time period say 5 yrs or longer.
      Fuel prices remove any incentive for airlines to pay more for the upgrade and the engine builders dont have the revenue to fund the development and testing required

      • For now that may well be true. I would suspect it depends on how close to being put out it is and in some cases, how close the competition is.

        GTF vs MAX P&W has done the work and it rolls up other fixes other than SPC improvements. But it also is a great marketing tool (or beat on GE) to say, we are 5-8% better SFC. A lot of the LCA buyers have not committed.

        GE may well lay back as they have a solid 50% on the A320NEO and all of the MAX (when it finally starts building in numbers again).

        They could save money by not selling money loosing engines and recoup and still have a huge market share.

        Long term SFC does return, just not as much as it did before.

        GE has beat RR into the ground on the 787 with its better SFC and reliability.

        I saw an engineer article how RR is now blaming sulfur in the air for the blade issues on the 1000 etc.

        First it was salt, now it was sulfur and its not like those interactions are new to metals let alone engines.

        There may be commitments to Airbus and Boeing on improving the engines to get them above the minimum.

        And where is RR with Ultra with all the cuts and issues? No current engine or market so does it get put on hold like MHI and the Scope Jet (whatever they call it this week?)

        P&W is a wait as we won’t have large numbers of the GTF moving until 2021 if we are lucky.

        Oddly their F-135 engine has done well. Go figure

      • This article mentions a PIP to be ready this summer and “PW’s Advance 2” improvement for 2023. The one due this summer I expect will roll out, the work must be done. The one for 2023 lines up with and may be tied to the 321XLR launch. If so I’d expect that to to go ahead as well because without it the A321XLR may not meet its targets.

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