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The Rolls Royce Challenge And The A350 Program  
User currently offlineCFBFrame From United States of America, joined May 2009, 531 posts, RR: 3
Posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 13348 times:

Thinking about the recent engine and performance issues seen on the 787 with the Trent 1000. It crossed my mind that the same sort of issue/s could be seen on the A350 and the impact would be far more server for that program. Because Boeing and its customers have an engine alternative with the GE engine, the program can provide airlines the option of changing engines if the Trent performance is less than specified and the performance of the GE engine is better.

A hypothetical for discussion here; Let's say that RR misses on their performance targets and the impact is so massive that the A350-900 fails in meet range and load specifications. RR takes a few years to meet targets, while the reduced performance impacts performance of both the -900 and the -1000. On the other side, RR continues to struggle with the Trent while GE exceeds expectations. What are the potential implications to the XWB program if such a scenario happened?

54 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinekeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 13202 times:

I think RR is taking all lessons learned from the Trent 900 and -1000 & incorporating them on the Trent XWB. Airbus wants GE to do the same.

User currently offlineSchorschNG From Germany, joined Sep 2010, 500 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 13087 times:

For the A350XWB-900 & -800 the GE engine is still possible. Just the -1000 is currently not supported by GE. I think the missing second engine option is a big problem of the A350. It shows us the power of engine manufacturers, especially GE.
GE's reason is that a -1000 might impact its stand with the B777-300ER.
It is a bit sad that advance in aircraft design is hold at many levels, may it the leasing companies or the engine makers.



From a structural standpoint, passengers are the worst possible payload. [Michael Chun-Yung Niu]
User currently offlineScottB From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 6752 posts, RR: 32
Reply 3, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 13059 times:

Quoting SchorschNG (Reply 2):
GE's reason is that a -1000 might impact its stand with the B777-300ER.

That's not the only reason. The GE design is pretty much maxed out by the requirements for the A350-900, so they'd have to make far more significant design changes than RR to accommodate the A350-1000 -- likely even an entirely new engine design. From GE's perspective, the investment required to support the A350-1000 isn't justified when the existing design is perfectly fine for the smaller variants, when you consider the number of additional sales that they could make.

Consider that a new engine program is similar in cost to a new airliner program; GE can't make money spending $10 billion on a new engine program when they'd only realize a few hundred incremental sales in the most optimistic scenario.


User currently offlinekeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 13015 times:

Quoting ScottB (Reply 3):
From GE's perspective, the investment required to support the A350-1000 isn't justified when the existing design is perfectly fine for the smaller variants, when you consider the number of additional sales that they could make.

I hope they can do something competitive for the 777 NGX then. It's in the same thrust class. Or a 787-10..

Quoting ScottB (Reply 3):
Consider that a new engine program is similar in cost to a new airliner program; GE can't make money spending $10 billion on a new engine program when they'd only realize a few hundred incremental sales in the most optimistic scenario.

They lost Qatar, US Airways and a few other contracts because of the deal with Boeing. They might loose a few more loyal GE customers (AF, KL, LH) soon, billion$.


User currently offlinefrmrCapCadet From United States of America, joined May 2008, 1715 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 12966 times:

It has been little commented on regarding the difficulty of the engine makers to get the engines for the 787 right, two extra years and still working at it. To my mind this says that both tube and wing planes AND bypass engines are close to their theoretical limits, and increasing improvements are even more increasingly difficult. If I am right the airframe and engine manufacturers need to be cut some slack. They may be doing a phenominal job.


Buffet: the airline business...has eaten up capital...like..no other (business)
User currently offlineDfwRevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 972 posts, RR: 51
Reply 6, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 12900 times:

Quoting frmrCapCadet (Reply 5):
It has been little commented on regarding the difficulty of the engine makers to get the engines for the 787 right, two extra years and still working at it. To my mind this says that both tube and wing planes AND bypass engines are close to their theoretical limits, and increasing improvements are even more increasingly difficult

There was plenty of airframe and engine technology left on the table in the interest of time, cost, and risk.

Quoting keesje (Reply 4):
They lost Qatar, US Airways and a few other contracts because of the deal with Boeing.

Which "deal with Boeing" are you referring to?


User currently offlinepar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7153 posts, RR: 8
Reply 7, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 12876 times:

Quoting SchorschNG (Reply 2):
For the A350XWB-900 & -800 the GE engine is still possible. Just the -1000 is currently not supported by GE.

I thought Airbus told GE they must support all A350 versions or none, I stand to be corrected.


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30928 posts, RR: 87
Reply 8, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 12833 times:
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Quoting SchorschNG (Reply 2):
GE's reason is that a -1000 might impact its stand with the B777-300ER.

Some within GE also think the A350-800 is going to prove a poor seller (order conversions to the A350-900).


Quoting par13del (Reply 7):
I thought Airbus told GE they must support all A350 versions or none, I stand to be corrected.

That is correct. Airbus wants GE power on all models or no models.


Quoting keesje (Reply 4):
(GE) lost Qatar.

  

QR has GE power on the 77W, 77L and 77F and has ordered GE for their 787s...


User currently offlineCFBFrame From United States of America, joined May 2009, 531 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 12617 times:

Quoting frmrCapCadet (Reply 5):
To my mind this says that both tube and wing planes AND bypass engines are close to their theoretical limits, and increasing improvements are even more increasingly difficult.


That's what concerns me, not whether GE is playing on the program but the fact that the program has the single engine that may very well be maxed out.

Quoting keesje (Reply 1):
I think RR is taking all lessons learned from the Trent 900 and -1000 & incorporating them on the Trent XWB.


What lessons are those? Just seems like a short answer for someone willing to discuss almost anything aerospace.
GE's not coming to this party, so what's the implications of a sole source supplier? I remember not too many years ago the rage of the industry was to have a sole source, and now I'd like to discuss the implications of such a decision on a program such as the XWB.


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30928 posts, RR: 87
Reply 10, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 12598 times:
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Quoting keesje (Reply 1):
I think RR is taking all lessons learned from the Trent 900 and -1000 & incorporating them on the Trent XWB.

One would think they would have taken all the lessons learned from the Trent 500, Trent 800 and Trent 900 when developing the Trent 1000...   


User currently offlineScottB From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 6752 posts, RR: 32
Reply 11, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 12595 times:

Quoting keesje (Reply 4):
I hope they can do something competitive for the 777 NGX then. It's in the same thrust class. Or a 787-10..

The 787-10 will be close in size to the A350-900, so it's likely that the GEnX can scale up to that class. And it's very possible that they will wait for the 777NG/replacement to launch an engine in that thrust class; rather than having two closely overlapping engine designs for the 787 and A350, they'd have a well-optimized design for the 777NG (and RR would likely be forced into a new engine design to compete).

Quoting keesje (Reply 4):
They lost Qatar, US Airways and a few other contracts because of the deal with Boeing. They might loose a few more loyal GE customers (AF, KL, LH) soon, billion$.

Who knows? It's likely that GE lost customers, but they almost certainly ran the numbers and decided that they'd make more money by not developing an entirely new engine for the A350. It's also likely that Airbus has lost customers due to GE not being part of the A350 program. It doesn't seem like the 777 program was hurt by the sole engine supplier for the 77L/77W, so it's difficult to understand Airbus's insistence on GE supplying an engine for the A350-1000.


User currently offlineastuteman From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 10012 posts, RR: 96
Reply 12, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 12332 times:
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Quoting CFBFrame (Thread starter):
Let's say that RR misses on their performance targets and the impact is so massive that the A350-900 fails in meet range and load specifications. RR takes a few years to meet targets, while the reduced performance impacts performance of both the -900 and the -1000

According to Airbus, the SFC spec difference between the A350 and 787 is about 2% at most.
RR are currently saying that they will have the Trent 1000 1% better than spec for the introduction of the 787-9 in 2013
As the Trent XWB is both newer, and larger than that engine, I have a very hard time believing that RR run the risk of an SFC miss of the size you describe.
To achieve only a 1% miss, all they have to do is match what they'll be doing on the Trent 1000 by then.
Doesn't sound like a monumental "challenge" to me......

Quoting CFBFrame (Reply 9):
I remember not too many years ago the rage of the industry was to have a sole source, and now I'd like to discuss the implications of such a decision on a program such as the XWB.

Thick end of 600 sales 3 years before EIS?
It would appear the sole source engine situation has had the same impact on the A350 as it has on the 773ER....  

Rgds


User currently offlinePM From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 6895 posts, RR: 63
Reply 13, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 12283 times:

I'm not entirely impartial (!) but it seems to me that way too much has been made of RR's recent tribulations.

Neither the T1000 nor GEnx were close to target sfc by the time the 787 was originally due to enter service in 2008. The numerous delays have cost both OEMs revenue but they've been a godsend in giving them time to improve their engines. Both have done so.

It does seem that RR had the bigger gap to make up but it also seems that they are almost there.

Could the same thing happen on the TXWB? Of course, just as it could on a GEnx optimised for the A350. It could also have happened on the T900 but it seems that it didn't.

And a production engine being tested in Derby experiencing an uncontained failure is newsworthy but hardly a show-stopper.

And finally, a test engine on board a test frame misbehaves? Has that never happened before?

Lumped together, these incidents can look like a major issue if that's what you're looking for but on their own they are more or less part and parcel of taking technology to infinity and beyond.

RR in crisis? How many of you can remember the Cathay fleet of A330s being grounded in the early days because of problems with the Trent 700? That really hit T700 sales, didn't it?  

Looking at the T1000 (but ignoring the T500, T700, T800 and T900 which all seem to be doing the jobs they were designed for) and concluding that RR will drop the ball on the TXWB is scare-mongering.

Go away and monger some other scares.


User currently onlineparapente From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2006, 1573 posts, RR: 10
Reply 14, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 11940 times:

Continuing from reply 13. If,if,if,if if.What a stupid thread.There is no evidence what so ever that the Trent XWB has any issues what so ever.If there comes a time when it does.Please feel free to start such a thread.Until then...........

User currently offlineJerseyFlyer From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 640 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 11919 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 8):
Some within GE also think the A350-800 is going to prove a poor seller (order conversions to the A350-900).

Were GE to adopt the same strategy as RR and put the same engine on both the -800 and -900, it would not matter whether the -800 sold or not


User currently offlinescbriml From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 12515 posts, RR: 46
Reply 16, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 11646 times:
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Quoting CFBFrame (Reply 9):
the fact that the program has the single engine that may very well be maxed out.

Huh? In what way is the Trent XWB 'maxed' out?   

Quoting ScottB (Reply 11):
It's also likely that Airbus has lost customers due to GE not being part of the A350 program.

Do you have any evidence to support that? I don't ever recall reading any airline saying "We only bought the 787 because GE wasn't an option on the A350." Likewise, John Leahy has publically stated that he's never lost a sale because of a lack of engine choice.

Sales of all "no engine choice" models from both manufacturers would suggest that a lack of engine choice really isn't anywhere near as big an issue for the World's airlines as some here would have us believe.



Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana!
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12472 posts, RR: 25
Reply 17, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 11480 times:

It is a gamble, but a tiny one...

And it is akin to the GE90 on the 777-300ER: it could come out better than planned!

Maybe there are some things they learned doing the T1000 that they could not incorporate into the engine because of earlier design decisions, but they can incorporate them into the TXWB?

It is a gamble, but one that seems to already be paying off for RR and Airbus.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineSchorschNG From Germany, joined Sep 2010, 500 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 11239 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 8):
That is correct. Airbus wants GE power on all models or no models.

I think Airbus has overestimated its power.
Maybe they accept GE to only power the smaller variants.
But I think that currently they still hope that GE considers the A350XWB a program not to miss.
But GE is traditionally very "profit margin driven".



From a structural standpoint, passengers are the worst possible payload. [Michael Chun-Yung Niu]
User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 19, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 10999 times:

Sigh don't folk read the engine threads before starting one pouring a bucket of cold water on the TXWB?

The TXWB differs from the T1000 in a number of respects, but most notably in acquiring an extra stage that is presumably designed to improve cruise SFC so that the new engine may well have (as in will not really know until there are flight test data but why else would you go to the expense and extra weight?) superior cruise performance as well as excellent performance in the climb. We need Lightsaber to tell us if there is any way that GE could match the climb performance, but unless they can their engine might well be at a disadvantage both in the climb and the cruise. In turn that might just be why Airbus asked GE to develop a new engine for the A350?????


User currently offlinekeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 10890 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 8):
Quoting keesje (Reply 4):
(GE) lost Qatar.
 

QR has GE power on the 77W, 77L and 77F and has ordered GE for their 787s...
Quoting ScottB (Reply 11):
Quoting keesje (Reply 4):
They lost Qatar, US Airways and a few other contracts because of the deal with Boeing. They might loose a few more loyal GE customers (AF, KL, LH) soon, billion$.

Who knows? It's likely that GE lost customers, but they almost certainly ran the numbers and decided that they'd make more money by not developing an entirely new engine for the A350.

Qatar was a loyal GE customer. So when they ordered the A350 they selected the GE GENX.
http://geaviation.com/aboutgeae/presscenter/genx/genx_20050914.html

The rest is history. Same for US, TAM.. http://www.geae.com/aboutgeae/presscenter/genx/genx_20051205.html

What is happening is that Air France - KLM is asking GE´s CEO for the second time to provide an Engine for the A350 -800, -900 and -1000. Now or a moment step in the shoes of that man and come with a good answer. (AF-KLM owns / maintains piles of GE, CFM, GP engines of various types).

[Edited 2010-10-21 06:21:09]

User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30928 posts, RR: 87
Reply 21, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 9867 times:
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Quoting keesje (Reply 20):
What is happening is that Air France - KLM is asking GE´s CEO for the second time to provide an Engine for the A350 -800, -900 and -1000. Now or a moment step in the shoes of that man and come with a good answer.

Well I suppose if AF / KL are willing to order a couple hundred A350s, GE would be willing to launch it.

But right now, they may be better off dropping a billion on comprehensively updating the GE90-115B and offering AF and KL new 77Ls and 77Ws with better payload performance than the A350-900 and A350-1000 coupled with significant improvements in SFC over what they are currently experiencing.


User currently offlineChiad From Norway, joined May 2006, 1149 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 9348 times:

Quoting keesje (Reply 20):
Qatar was a loyal GE customer. So when they ordered the A350 they selected the GE GENX.
http://geaviation.com/aboutgeae/presscenter/genx/genx_20050914.html

The rest is history. Same for US, TAM.. http://www.geae.com/aboutgeae/pressc....html

Good answer Keesje. And well noted.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 21):

Well I suppose if AF / KL are willing to order a couple hundred A350s, GE would be willing to launch it.

A couple of hundred?  Wow!
Why would they? They have already lost a potential 1152 engine sales so far from the fastest selling plane in history.
I think GE sees this as a gamble but has lost so far.

Quoting CFBFrame (Reply 9):
That's what concerns me, not whether GE is playing on the program but the fact that the program has the single engine that may very well be maxed out.

I think you are more concerned about remarkable success of the Airbus A350 and the RR Trent XWB.
 


User currently offlinekeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 9038 times:

I think at some point the conclusion could be drawn that putting all cards on the 787, 747-8 and 777 family, looked like a good idea in 2005, but times have changed and in hindsight it proved less of a brilliant strategy.

The 777 backlog runs out in the same period the A350s starts coming of the FAL. As said Boeing needs a engine at least as good as the Trent XWB too for the 300 - 350 segment, regardsless if its a 777NG or 787 stretch. Nothing is preventing RR to visit Chicago with a Trent XWB version tailored to Boeings requirements.

Maybe GE decision was less then brilliant. It seems to me they simply misjudged the A350XWB vs 777 competition in the 2005-2010 period.



Saying the capable Boeing 777-300ER holds up pretty well against to the undefined slow selling A350-1000 is pretty useless because the 777-300ER backlog is ok until 2014 and the A350-1000 EIS is scheduled for 2016..

[Edited 2010-10-21 09:25:26]

User currently offlineCFBFrame From United States of America, joined May 2009, 531 posts, RR: 3
Reply 24, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 9005 times:

Quoting parapente (Reply 14):
What a stupid thread


Interesting that you chose such a word to describe something that was started for hypothetical reasons. Someone that has never worked on a program of the XWB magnitude might not see the value of the discussion, because these type questions are presented to develop alternative scenarios. Let's not be myopic in our thinking, open up a bit and maybe you will develop some level of appreciation. But if you continue to find the subject stupid I'd suggest you go find another thread to share your thoughts, because I'm really interested in learning from the people who find the subject interesting and worth discussing. And, please don't remove neither of these posts. We're big enough to allow such feedback to exist.


25 PM : Is that a fact or speculation? (I'm not arguing, just asking.) I very much doubt it. They've had plenty of opportunities to launch it before now. A "
26 Post contains images tistpaa727 : Agreed. I don't think GE will jump on board unless they know they have many more "in the bag". Even then, i still do not believe GE will join the A35
27 Post contains images Stitch : Between 2005 and 2010, GE has secured orders for a minimum of 952 GE90 engines and delivered at least 680. During that same period, RR has secured or
28 CFBFrame : Which is another point outside of performance that may impact the program. No issues with scaling up? Anybody remember the MD11? Weren't engine perfo
29 Post contains images astuteman : Seriously? From the 116" diameter of the Trent 900 to the "whopping" 118" diameter of the Trent XWB? Apologies, but that did make me laugh.. There is
30 Timboflier215 : You don't think these two sentences are slightly contradictory? Why would Airbus have lost customers by only having one engine choice on the A350, bu
31 BMI727 : There isn't an engine in the world that could have saved that thing. What about weight?
32 EPA001 : The difference between the two engine types will hardly be visible. But the technological difference is bigger, although we have to await real flight
33 par13del : So is the theory that all 884 orders for the A350XWB a/c would have been powered by GE engines, all existing RR customers would have simply switched?
34 astuteman : Given that the "modular" innards of the Trent XWB are said by RR to be up to 15% lighter than those of the Trent 900, I'd be very surprised if the me
35 Baroque : Although for RR the additional IP turbine stage is getting close to a paradigm shift as it will be associated with an increase in the pressure ratio
36 Post contains images EPA001 : I would say so but like I said the performance data will give the final answer to your question. Or maybe lightsaber can shine some light over that t
37 CFBFrame : Intent was to get the smart folks on this board to discuss my question. No motive, which I gather seems strange for you and others to comprehend.
38 Stitch : Not at all. Airlines like SQ and CX would certainly have chosen RR even if GE was available. I'm just noting that GE being the exclusive engine provi
39 ScottB : Of course not. I can't think of any airline announcing that X model of airliner was unsuitable due to the availability of only one manufacturer's eng
40 Baroque : If you look back over related threads, this might help you to find out why. Some of them contain more detail about the challenges that GE would have
41 Post contains images scbriml : It perplexes me why anyone would be so insistent that GE don't need to provide an engine to cover the full A350XWB family. Why wouldn't Airbus want G
42 parapente : This thread started with Trent 1000 "problems" read Boeings latest financial statement.There is no problem now so there is no thread.Sorry
43 Baroque : Can you be a bit more explicit?
44 Post contains links Baroque : Try GE Engine For The A350 - Any News? (by A342 Apr 2 2010 in Civil Aviation)?threadid=4764501&searchid=4771800&s=lightsaber#89 GE Engine For
45 ScottB : Who has insisted that GE doesn't need to cover the entire A350 family? I have only asserted that it likely does not make financial sense to do so if
46 scbriml : Then why are you 'perplexed' that Airbus had the temerity to say an alternative to the Trent XWB must cover all A350 models? I'm simply pointing out
47 ScottB : Simply because it seems that Airbus has little or nothing to gain from this position -- unless their true intent is to favor RR. In an ideal world, t
48 Post contains images Stitch : Airbus wants airlines to buy the A350-800, A350-900 and A350-1000, not the A350-800, A350-900 and 777-300ER.
49 Post contains links Lumberton : Good take here on engine options. http://airinsight.wordpress.com/2010/10/22/the-necessity-of-options/ Will Pratt ever be a player in the A350 program
50 Stitch : Perhaps, but not anytime soon. They say they can scale the PurePower to levels necessary to power the A350 family, but Airbus is going to want to see
51 Post contains links and images keesje : I didn't. It's all very entertaining comparing the 777-300ER and A350-1000 if they were rolling of the production line at the same time. So far they
52 Post contains images Stitch : Except I didn't. Current production is 5 per month (from 7) and will return to 7 in mid-2011. The 777 has also had a very good 2010 in terms of gross
53 XT6Wagon : And sales spiked sharply up the last time Boeing discounted the 777 more than normal. I see no reason to doubt that it would happen again. The 777 to
54 Stitch : Which is why I think Boeing needs to work on lowering the production costs with the "777-300ERX" to help balance out the extra costs that will need t
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