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Should Airbus Offer The GTF For The A320s?  
User currently offlinePanais From Cyprus, joined May 2008, 462 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 2 months 9 hours ago) and read 6558 times:

Considering that:
1. GTF tests on the A340 testing platform starting this year, might make the GTF attractive,
2. The GTF fits under the wing of an A320 but not the B737,
3. The GTF being commecially available in 2011-2012,
4. The likely entry into service of a new A320 or B737 family in 2020,
5. The existing A320 platform will have a run for at least another 10 years.

Should Airbus offer the GTF on the existing A320 family, are they risking the wrath of Boeing for spoiling a good party for both of them, forcing Boeing to launch its new 737 earlier, therefore, forcing Airbus to spend resources that are scarce on a A320 replacement?

30 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently onlineScipio From Belgium, joined Oct 2007, 843 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (6 years 2 months 4 hours ago) and read 5909 times:

The stars seem to be lining up in favor of a GTF-powered A320, for all the reasons you mention and because Airbus and P&W have already been working for a couple of years exploring that option.

I think one lesson that Airbus has learned from the A340-B777 battle is that it is often better to be second to market, so that you know what competition you are up against. It is a lesson they have applied in the B787-A350 case and I think they also want to repeat it in the case of the next-generation narrowbody.

A GTF-powered A320 could be a means to put Boeing on the defensive and force it to launch its narrowbody replacement first. With further improvements to the A320 (and with airlines keeping in mind the B787 experience), Airbus would have the luxury to wait a few years to see how the Boeing product is shaping up before defining its response.


User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 6832 posts, RR: 46
Reply 2, posted (6 years 2 months 4 hours ago) and read 5861 times:



Quoting Scipio (Reply 1):
A GTF-powered A320 could be a means to put Boeing on the defensive and force it to launch its narrowbody replacement first.

A good possibility, and provided the GTF proves to be sufficiently reliable and meets its performance targets, would give Airbus a real advantage. Boeing would have to respond; either by persuading PW to come up with a smaller diameter GTF to put on the 737 or coming up with a new plane. I don't believe they'd sit still.



The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently offlineBurkhard From Germany, joined Nov 2006, 4386 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (6 years 2 months 4 hours ago) and read 5827 times:

If the tests on the A340 come out successful, and if than an A320 runs through a successful test program, Airbus will offer the A320GTF.

We heared from Boeing a few weeks ago that really break through technology will not be available before 2015, which means a really revolutionay 737RS will not come before 2018 earliest, so in ten years earliest, and experience shows that such a "in ten years" does not vary quickly.

So Airbus could have a slight advantage over the 737, wait where Boeing goes and go another way or the same.

Or Boeing makes a fourth 737 generation, I'm sure they still have some ideas how to improve it when they know they still build it for a decade, 30 per month.

So it is too early to answer the question: Shoud Airbus offer? They should expolit it and verify it and offer it then.


User currently onlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30576 posts, RR: 84
Reply 4, posted (6 years 2 months 3 hours ago) and read 5689 times:
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A few points:

Even if the GTF test program is successful, I am not sure airlines are going to suddenly embrace the GTF. Pratt has been working on this thing for a decade or more and they've had a tough time of it. That Mitsubishi bought it for their new RJ is a sign of confidence, but then Mitsubishi also needed a new angle to get (non-Japanese) airlines to buy it over the established Bombardier and Embraer product lines.

Even if Pratt runs that thing 24x7 for a year off an A340 and then does it again for another year on an A320, that is still just a handful of engine demonstrators. Airlines are likely going to be worried about teething (literally, here) issues and such.

Now, I'm not dismissing Pratt nor the GTF on the A320. But I think it might not be in the cards until later into the 2010s. And even with Airbus moving to 40+ A320 deliveries a month, they're still not going to be able to meet world demand for narrowbodies, so its not like Boeing is going to have to shutter the 737NG line because everyone is going to cancel their orders to get GTF-powered A320s.

And I expect Pratt is not going to want to abandon upwards of half the market to a competitor (Rolls?) so I imagine they will work on reducing the GTF's size to work in the 737, as well.


User currently offlineKeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (6 years 2 months 3 hours ago) and read 5611 times:

I guess the high fuel prices will change the plans made so far.

Regardsless if we are talking a RR, Pratt or GE engines, the current generation CFM56, V2500 engines have a BPR of about 5. New Trent, GE90 and GENX are going in the direction of 10.

A new engine incorporating the newest material, swirl, press ratio and low speed composite fan blades and having a BPR of over 7-8 should slash fuel cost compared to current engines that have their origens a long time ago & are not good enough to sell them in2019.



IMO their isn't a physical problem fitting higher BPR engines under the A320.

The lenght difference between 320 & 321 is very big. Maybe they should build a a320.5 with the new engines and stretched wings..



User currently offlineFlyingClrs727 From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 733 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (6 years 2 months 3 hours ago) and read 5529 times:



Quoting SEPilot (Reply 2):
e. Boeing would have to respond; either by persuading PW to come up with a smaller diameter GTF to put on the 737 or coming up with a new plane. I don't believe they'd sit still.

What about putting a taller landing gear in the 737 to increase ground clearance?


User currently offlineBrianDromey From Ireland, joined Dec 2006, 3916 posts, RR: 9
Reply 7, posted (6 years 2 months 2 hours ago) and read 5374 times:



Quoting FlyingClrs727 (Reply 6):
What about putting a taller landing gear in the 737 to increase ground clearance?

I think that could be very, very costly, because of where the thing stows when not in use. They would also have to redesign the nose gear and its stowage compartment, so just to do the GFT Boeing would have to redesign the nose section and redesign the wing root and underbelly. They are probably better starting from scratch. Or putting it on a 757, which is not going to happen.

I think the interesting option could be re-engining of the existing A32X fleet with the GTF. If it could be done relatively cost-effectively it would effectively kill the 737RS/320 sucessor until something really revolutionary comes along. The 320 is older than I am, I think Airbus should treat it to a 25th birthday present with new engines and other new lightweight 'bling' bits.

Brian.



Next flights: MAN-ORK-LHR(EI)-MAN(BD); MAN-LHR(BD)-ORK (EI); DUB-ZRH-LAX (LX) LAX-YYZ (AC) YYZ-YHZ-LHR(AC)-DUB(BD)
User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 6832 posts, RR: 46
Reply 8, posted (6 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 5098 times:



Quoting FlyingClrs727 (Reply 6):
What about putting a taller landing gear in the 737 to increase ground clearance?

That is not a trivial exercise, but it possibly could be done. The magnitude of the task is not as big as a new plane, but it would rival the 737NG project.



The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently offlineJoeCanuck From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 5405 posts, RR: 30
Reply 9, posted (6 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 5026 times:

One possibility is gear which automatically lengthens as it unfolds on the 737. A hydraulic or mechanical ram could be employed to add the necessary length to the gear.

This would allow for everything to remain the same, except the gear.

While I don't for a minute think this is an easy solution, it would be a lot simpler than having to re-engineer the wing and fuse, as well as the gear. I believe systems similar in concept are/have been used on some military aircraft.



What the...?
User currently offlineParapente From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2006, 1548 posts, RR: 10
Reply 10, posted (6 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 4941 times:

Is P&W allowed to offer the GTF since they are part of the IAE? I cannot believe they can (indeed someone else raised this point a couple of weeks ago.) They can go on the 318 as the 2500 is not on it. If this is the case then perhaps A will offer a 19.5 or a 20.5 varient to get around this? This must be a real issue -these partnerships are real and binding for just such an eventuality - no?

User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19408 posts, RR: 58
Reply 11, posted (6 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 4850 times:



Quoting BrianDromey (Reply 7):
They are probably better starting from scratch. Or putting it on a 757, which is not going to happen.

Wouldn't write the 757 off, per se.

No, there will never be a 757-400. However, I am willing to bet that whatever replaces the 737 will look and behave an awful lot like a 757. It was (and is) a very good airframe with excellent performance and reliability. The 737RS will probably look more like a 757RS when all is said and done.


User currently offlineBrianDromey From Ireland, joined Dec 2006, 3916 posts, RR: 9
Reply 12, posted (6 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 4748 times:



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 11):
Wouldn't write the 757 off, per se.

The only reason that I said that the 757 would not happen is that the tooling has apparently been disassembled/destroyed. I think Boeing might live to regret killing the 757 so quickly, if Airbus do successfully put the GTF on the 320.

Brian.



Next flights: MAN-ORK-LHR(EI)-MAN(BD); MAN-LHR(BD)-ORK (EI); DUB-ZRH-LAX (LX) LAX-YYZ (AC) YYZ-YHZ-LHR(AC)-DUB(BD)
User currently offlineKennyK From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 482 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (6 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 4674 times:

If Airbus do go ahead with GTF I doubt Boeing would want to rush anything out other than a slightly upgraded 737, they would certainly not go ahead with a new aircraft much before 2020 as they would only be painting themselves into a corner having to use current/developments technology and would be thrashed by any new Airbus narrowbody that would benefit from later technology. Boeing would do much better to get the 787 sorted out including the -10 and an advanced 777.

User currently offlineLuv2cattlecall From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 1650 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (6 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 4535 times:
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Quoting KennyK (Reply 13):
If Airbus do go ahead with GTF I doubt Boeing would want to rush anything out other than a slightly upgraded 737, they would certainly not go ahead with a new aircraft much before 2020 as they would only be painting themselves into a corner having to use current/developments technology and would be thrashed by any new Airbus narrow-body that would benefit from later technology. Boeing would do much better to get the 787 sorted out including the -10 and an advanced 777.

Despite all the naysayers....I forsee a BWB as the replacement. There are only so many ways you can refine a tube with wings...



When you have to breaststroke to your connecting flight...it's a crash!
User currently offlineNcb From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (6 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 4438 times:



Quoting Parapente (Reply 10):
Is P&W allowed to offer the GTF since they are part of the IAE? I cannot believe they can (indeed someone else raised this point a couple of weeks ago.) They can go on the 318 as the 2500 is not on it. If this is the case then perhaps A will offer a 19.5 or a 20.5 varient to get around this? This must be a real issue -these partnerships are real and binding for just such an eventuality - no?

I don't know about the exact agreements they have but in the worst case, they can do it through IAE.


User currently offlineOvercast From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 159 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (6 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 4420 times:

The Flight Global article mentions that P&W want to bring the GTF into the IAE fold, so if the GTF gets onto the A32X then it will be under the IAE umbrella.

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...eys-obsession-with-the-geared.html


User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 6832 posts, RR: 46
Reply 17, posted (6 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 4192 times:



Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 9):

While I don't for a minute think this is an easy solution, it would be a lot simpler than having to re-engineer the wing and fuse, as well as the gear. I believe systems similar in concept are/have been used on some military aircraft.

Yes, that would be possible. However, after 30 years of designing machines I have become a lover of simplicity, and the maintenance and reliability problems of this approach would give me nightmares. I am afraid that many airlines would see it the same, and would go for the Airbus for that reason alone. The more difficult and expensive (initially) solution of reengineering the wing and fuselage required for the longer gear might well end up being the more profitable solution. One of my engineering maxims that I live by is it takes a lot of thought to make things simple. Whenever I face a design problem and come up with a solution, I always look at it and ask myself how I can make it simpler. I usually find a way, and it makes a tremendous difference. And it sometimes requires going back to the starting point, or, in this case, even before the starting point.



The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently offlineJacobin777 From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 14968 posts, RR: 60
Reply 18, posted (6 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 4119 times:



Quoting BrianDromey (Reply 12):
The only reason that I said that the 757 would not happen is that the tooling has apparently been disassembled/destroyed. I think Boeing might live to regret killing the 757 so quickly, if Airbus do successfully put the GTF on the 320.

Sales of the B757 basically stopped..keeping the lines/property/plants/etc. open would have been costly.



"Up the Irons!"
User currently offlineJoeCanuck From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 5405 posts, RR: 30
Reply 19, posted (6 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 3991 times:



Quoting SEPilot (Reply 17):

I'm a huge fan of the KISS principle. Off the top of my head, I can think of a number of ways which, while not being as simple as the current folding leg, an extending gear wouldn't have to be that much more complex.

The current set up already has an extending capacity, to absorb the shock of landing. Currently, it's fully extended for landing and when it's being retracted. What they'd need is for a longer leg to fully extend for landing and retract to mid stroke for stowing, if that makes any sense.

I reckon that if it takes much more than new gear to fit a new engine on the 737, they'll go all the way to an all new plane. In any case, Boeing has given a lot of thought to clearance issues with the 737 engines over the years and they've done a pretty good job of solving them.



What the...?
User currently offlineAtmx2000 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 4576 posts, RR: 38
Reply 20, posted (6 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 3974 times:



Quoting Scipio (Reply 1):
I think one lesson that Airbus has learned from the A340-B777 battle is that it is often better to be second to market, so that you know what competition you are up against.

That's the wrong lesson. The correct lesson is it is good to be second to market if it means that you can take advantage of some substantial improvement in technology. In the case of the A340A340NG vs 777ER/777LR, the origin of the advantage is from design decisions in the late 1980s and an unwillingness to revisit those design decisions in the late 1990s when considering the design of a newer generation of those two aircraft families. Principally we are talking about the availability of large engines for long haul twin jets. But there were issues regarding fuselage design and structure that came into play, as well as philosophies regarding wing design.



ConcordeBoy is a twin supremacist!! He supports quadicide!!
User currently offlineJoeCanuck From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 5405 posts, RR: 30
Reply 21, posted (6 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 3879 times:

Does
THIS
make it more or less likely that the 320 or the 737 will get an interum GTF upgrade before their replacements come out?

Quote:
Airbus’ president and CEO Tom Enders said yesterday he agreed with Boeing that the earliest timeframe was “the end of the 2019/2020 period” and Rolls-Royce Germany’s MD engineering, Norbert Arndt agreed – getting in a dig at Pratt & Whitney’s geared turbo fan (GTF) concept at the same time.

“The GTF isn’t causing me any sleepless nights”, he said, “as I prefer to listen to Boeing’s comment that the next generation of narrow body airliners will require ‘back to the drawing board’ thinking and this will need open rotor technology if we’re going to deliver the percentage improvements that the marketplace is demanding.”

With the huge backlogs of these planes in the pipeline, and their continued steady sales, it seems to me that research cash would probably be better spent elsewhere. Another expensive mid life upgrade for either unit might not make a much greater difference than the continuous tweaks already occurring.



What the...?
User currently offlineJoeCanuck From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 5405 posts, RR: 30
Reply 22, posted (6 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 3880 times:

Does

THIS

make it more or less likely that the 320 or the 737 will get an interum GTF upgrade before their replacements come out?

Quote:
Airbus’ president and CEO Tom Enders said yesterday he agreed with Boeing that the earliest timeframe was “the end of the 2019/2020 period” and Rolls-Royce Germany’s MD engineering, Norbert Arndt agreed – getting in a dig at Pratt & Whitney’s geared turbo fan (GTF) concept at the same time.

“The GTF isn’t causing me any sleepless nights”, he said, “as I prefer to listen to Boeing’s comment that the next generation of narrow body airliners will require ‘back to the drawing board’ thinking and this will need open rotor technology if we’re going to deliver the percentage improvements that the marketplace is demanding.”

With the huge backlogs of these planes in the pipeline, and their continued steady sales, it seems to me that research cash would probably be better spent elsewhere. Another expensive mid life upgrade for either unit might not make a much greater difference than the continuous tweaks already occurring.

[Edited 2008-05-30 22:34:31]


What the...?
User currently offlineParapente From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2006, 1548 posts, RR: 10
Reply 23, posted (6 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 3784 times:

RR is not going to allow the GTF into "the IAE fold" now is it! Over its dead body I would imagine -what is in it for them.They have now made their position quite clear on GTF. Yet...Airbus is pushing forward with P&W in what they temselves have described as "secret" developments.

So somethings afoot. I don't expect an answer to this as in all respect I cannot imagine anyone here knows the precise nature of the agreement. But it must be "breakable" in some way for Airbus to be going ahead with the 340/GTF testbed.

I predict that 2008 will be the year of the GTF its future will depend on the next 9 months. It is now almost a racing certainty that Bombardier will launch the "C" series (GTF) at Farnbrough -with at least 100 orders - there are various releases on the subject. Let us remind ourselves that this is a 100 -130 seat aircraft. The Japenese have also launched their 95 seater GTF.

With the above agreement issue resolved (in some way) there is nothing to stop Airbus offering a GTF 320 varient to market for EIS in 2013. That is 7 clear years of having the market to themselves -whatever comes after. Furtermore as others have said.The "New" aircraft comming out in 2019/2020 (earliest) will have to slowly ramp up in production terms.So a 10 year lifespan is there quite easily.

They can see that its worth having.


User currently offlineOsiris30 From Barbados, joined Sep 2006, 3192 posts, RR: 25
Reply 24, posted (6 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 3768 times:

Someone explain to me, why, without any external pressure, and both manufacturers running full out, either of them would spend any serious money on an update to their current narrowbodies.

There is no one on the horizon that is going to take the market out from under them. I don't understand why people on this forum have a desire to see these companies spend several billion dollars (between R&D, Ceritifaction, etc.) to upgrade a product that's selling out the production line.

The only thing that would stop either from selling out both their lines is a new vendor on the market, and the closest to even remotely encroaching right now (excluding the 318/736) is BBD with their C Series, and even if the C Series was the second coming, they still can't make enough of them to materially impact A & B. I mean how many years of production did both manufacturers sell last year for their narrow body line?

Sure.. let's piss away billions of dollars to make our planes riskier (i.e. GTF) and still only be able to effectively sell the same number...



I don't care what you think of my opinion. It's my opinion, so have a nice day :)
25 Parapente : you are suggesting something illegal here.In the uk we call it monopolistic behavour in the states anti trust laws are in place. You cannot have "cosy
26 David L : How did you manage to reply 12 months ago to a day-old thread? It wouldn't require a "cosy relationship" between Airbus and Boeing for them to do not
27 R2rho : By the end of the winter, Airbus will know whether they like the GTF or not. The decision to test it on the A340 FTB is significant: they could've jus
28 Scipio : Different reasons: (i) strategic considerations (put Boeing on the defensive in the positioning game for the next-generation narrowbody) (ii) discour
29 SEPilot : This is possible; however the amount it can extend is limited by the overall length, and is a small fraction of it. Without knowing the details of th
30 KennyK : There seems to be a consensus that neither Airbus or Boeing would want to further the development of the A320/737 as they have such a large backlog. L
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