Bjorn’s Corner: New engine development. Part 10. Propeller, Rotor or Fan?

By Bjorn Fehrm

June 7, 2024, ©. Leeham News: We do an article series about engine development. The aim is to understand why engine development now has longer timelines than airframe development and carries larger risks of product maturity problems.

To understand why engine development has become a challenging task, we need to understand engine fundamentals and the technologies used for these fundamentals.

Following the last Corner on airframe integration, several comments were made about the definition of propeller, open rotor, and/or fan. So, we’ll explore this further.

Figure 1. Evolution of Wright Brothers propellers from 1903 to 1905. Source: wright-brothers.org

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Bjorn’s Corner: New engine development. Part 8. Open Rotor technology

By Bjorn Fehrm

May 17, 2024, ©. Leeham News: We do an article series about engine development. The aim is to understand why engine development now has longer timelines than airframe development and carries larger risks of product maturity problems.

To understand why engine development has become a challenging task, we need to understand engine fundamentals and the technologies used for these fundamentals.

In the last Corner, we looked at why Open-Rotor engines are more efficient. Their propulsive efficiency can be considerably higher than that of a turbofan. We will explore this further this week.

Figure 1. A counterrotating Open Rotor design that SAFRAN ground tested in 2019. Source: SAFRAN.

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Bjorn’s Corner: New engine development. Part 3. Propulsive efficiency

By Bjorn Fehrm

April 12, 2024, ©. Leeham News: We have started an article series about engine development. The aim is to understand why engine development now dominates the new airliner development calendar time and the risks involved.

To understand why engine development has become a challenging task, we need to understand engine fundamentals and the technologies used for these fundamentals. We started last week with thrust generation, now we develop this to propulsive efficiency.

Figure 1. The base engine in our propulsive efficiency discussion, the CFM56-7 for the Boeing 737ng. Source: CFM.

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Safran overcomes supply chain woes as revenues soar

By Tom Batchelor

February 15, 2024, © Leeham News: French engine, equipment and interiors specialist Safran said revenues soared by more than a fifth in 2023 despite a “challenging supply chain environment” and inflationary pressures.

Announcing the company’s full-year 2023 results, CEO Olivier Andriès hailed the progress made last year as “outstanding”. Revenues were up 22% in 2023, to €23.2bn, vs. €19bn in 2022.Safran logo

Safran said this was in part due to its positioning on narrow-body markets, which are now above pre-COVID, 2019 levels and growing. With large order backlogs for single-aisle airplanes, the supply chain has struggled to keep up with demand.

The Paris-listed company’s operating income was up 31%, from €2.4bn in 2022 to €3.1bn in 2023, and free cash flow generation topped €2.9bn, which was above expectations and an increase on the €2.6bn in 2022. Read more

2024 Outlook: A Mixed Bag for Propulsion OEMs

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By Chris Sloan and Gordon Smith

January 11, 2033, © Leeham News: In 2023, a slew of problems plagued propulsion providers, with Pratt & Whitney’s GTF Engine and supply-chain shortcomings grabbing the bulk of negative headlines and customer complaints. There were bright spots for all the big three with a slew of significant orders, emerging technologies, and critical management shifts.

As the calendar turns to 2024, all eyes will be on a return to fulfilling enormous backlogs, supporting OEM production rate increases, and returning GTF-propelled planes to the skies – while edging towards new technologies, both incremental and revolutionary.

Summary
  • Pratt and its operators navigate massive AOGs (aircraft on ground) and unhappy customer claims for its GTF.
  • The GTF Advantage closes in on EIS.
  • GTF maladies open the door to a possible new platform, the long-mooted Airbus A220-500.
  • The X66A Tranonic-Truss-Braced Wing offers promise for both Pratt’s GTF and GE’s future RISE engines.
  • GEnx and GE-9X win blockbuster campaigns on the 787 and 777X as the 777X hurtles toward certification.
  • CFM’s LEAP goes from strength to strength on the heels of MAX orders and 737-7 and 737-10 certification and entry-into-service.
  • Fixing LEAP durability and delivery challenges.
  • Rolls-Royce Trent troubles continue to draw the ire of customers.
  • UltraFan testing moves forward in Roll’s quest to build a next-generation engine platform for the 2030s. Read more

Safran revenues take flight, but supply chain woes persist

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By Gordon Smith

Oct 31, 2023, (c) Leeham News: Robust demand in the civil aftermarket sector has helped propel Safran Group’s Q3 2023 revenues upwards. The French firm shared its latest sales results on October 27 and confirmed that it was on track to achieve its year-end targets – but the positive performance hasn’t been universal.

Safran logoA choppy combination of headwinds and tailwinds is currently buffeting the business, whose vast range of interests includes engine development, aftermarket, aircraft interiors, and other MRO-related sectors.

Overall, revenues were up 20.1% year-on-year at €5.82bn, tracking estimates of €5.79bn. As a result, the company reiterated its FY23 adjusted revenue guidance of €23bn, which was raised at the end of July.

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Bjorn’s Corner: New aircraft technologies. Part 9. Engine core advances

By Bjorn Fehrm.

April 21, 2023, ©. Leeham News: This is a summary of the article New aircraft technologies. Part 9P. Engine core advances. The article discusses how developments for the next-generation airliner engine cores will increase the thermal efficiency of next-generation engines.

Figure 1. The Pratt & Whitney PW1100G engine with its compact core enabled by a geared high RPM design. Source; Pratt & Whitney.

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Bjorn’s Corner: New aircraft technologies. Part 9P. Engine core advances

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By Bjorn Fehrm

April 21, 2023, ©. Leeham News: This is a complementary article to Part 9. Engine core advances. It discusses in detail the next-generation propulsion system cores and what efficiency improvements to expect from different technological advancements.

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An uneven financial recovery among OEMs and Suppliers

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By Vincent Valery

Introduction  

March 27, 2023, © Leeham News: In an article last year, LNA highlighted the divergence in the post-Covid-19 recovery among OEMs and select Tier 1 suppliers. Airbus had higher profits than before the Covid-19 pandemic, while all others lagged. Revenues were well below 2019 levels.

Commercial Aviation OEMs were severely impacted last year by supply chain disruptions. Airbus and Boeing ramped up production significantly slower than envisioned on all programs. The war in Ukraine and tighter financial conditions are complicating the situation further.

LNA collected financial information on the big three aircraft manufacturers and 10 major commercial aircraft suppliers to assess how quickly they recovered. There will also be an analysis of the numerous charges Airbus and Boeing have taken since 1999 through 2022.

Summary
  • Significant differences among the three major aircraft OEMs;
  • One engine OEM lagging;
  • Some OEM suppliers are struggling financially;
  • Twelve-digit accumulated charges at Airbus and Boeing combined.

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Engine Development. Part 9. Gearbox or not?

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By Bjorn Fehrm

Introduction

October 13, 2022, © Leeham News: In our series, we look at the development of the latest single-aisle engines. Should these be geared? What do you gain and risk with a geared design? Is this a new development, or has it been around for a long time?

We examine the development of single-aisle engines since 2000, their fuel efficiency, and operational reliability.

Summary
  • A geared design fixes some fundamental problems in a two-shaft turbofan.
  • CFM proves you could just as well further develop what you have.

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