Sponsor Message:
Civil Aviation Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Could Other Players Enter The Engine Market?  
User currently offlineaviatorcraig From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2010, 204 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 5837 times:

The civil aviation engine market is dominated by just a handful of manufacturers - mainly GE, RR, Snecma, PW & PWC or various collaborations between these few.

Under the old Soviet system, various design bureaus with names like Lotarev, Kuznetsov, Soloviev and Klimov prospered, producing engines for the indigenous airliner and helicopter industry. In the West these engines had a reputation (not always based on hard evidence) for being thirsty, unreliable and having poor TBO/time on wing figures. Since the end of the Soviet system various consolidations have produced names like NPO Saturn and Aviadvigatel, but none seem to be about to take the engine market by storm. Could these companies ever become global players?

What about the Chinese, Indian or Brazilian aerospace industries, could they produce competitive engines?

Much discussion takes place on A.Net about whether aircraft like the Irkut MS-21 or Comac C919 could be serious challengers to the A and B duopoly in the civil airliner market, but what about engines? Can anyone come along and take a slice of the cake from the existing players, or has the technology advanced so far as to put it out of reach to all but the current few engine manufacturers?

Your thoughts are appreciated.


707 727 Caravelle Comet Concorde Dash-7 DC-9 DC-10 One-Eleven Trident Tristar Tu-134 VC-10 Viscount plus boring stuff!
13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 1, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 5744 times:

Quoting aviatorcraig (Thread starter):
Since the end of the Soviet system various consolidations have produced names like NPO Saturn and Aviadvigatel, but none seem to be about to take the engine market by storm. Could these companies ever become global players?

Yes, if they're willing to sink enough money into it over more than a decade. So far, Russian investors and government haven't seemed eager or willing to do that, but that could change.

Quoting aviatorcraig (Thread starter):
What about the Chinese, Indian or Brazilian aerospace industries, could they produce competitive engines?

Same requirements...money and time. I would expect the Chinese to do it first, they have enough cash and long enough planning horizons.

Quoting aviatorcraig (Thread starter):
Much discussion takes place on A.Net about whether aircraft like the Irkut MS-21 or Comac C919 could be serious challengers to the A and B duopoly in the civil airliner market, but what about engines? Can anyone come along and take a slice of the cake from the existing players, or has the technology advanced so far as to put it out of reach to all but the current few engine manufacturers?

It's not out of reach but it takes huge investment and time. More so than any other object the aircraft, the engine is the most highly engineered and hardest to reverse engineer. On top of that, core engine technologies like turbine materials and EECs are heavily export controlled. A new entrant would have to re-engineer that stuff almost from scratch. Possible, but slow and expensive.

Tom.


User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 2, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 5674 times:

Quoting aviatorcraig (Thread starter):
or has the technology advanced so far as to put it out of reach to all but the current few engine manufacturers?

There is a huge technology gap. There is also the logistics gap.

As mentioned before in several threads, the current aircraft manufacturers - aircraft, engines, electronics, etc - have huge global support and resupply systems in place. Someone coming into the market area is going to have to be prepared to support their product anywhere in the world.

The initial investment will be huge. Much easier and cheaper to acquire a large interest in an existing company and focus development in the direction wanted.

But for all practical purposes, it is too big an investment for anyone in the world to really try to break into.

The only way we might see a new producer is if one of those engine developers were able to score a major technology breakthrough and get their engines onto a mew aircraft model, expanding their support system as the aircraft is produced and distributed.


User currently offlineEaglePower83 From United States of America, joined Oct 2011, 218 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 5432 times:

It's gotten to the point where "blank sheet" engine design has almost gotten too big and expensive even for the mature players in the market.
GE and Snecma have been partners for a long time.
MTU helps Pratt out.
Pratt and Rolls/Pratt and GE partnerships have been done, are being done, and will be done in the future.

The requirements today for efficiency, noise, weight etc, are pressing resources at all firms, and the investments to do so are getting to be too rich for one firm to support from ground-up.

Pratt's GTF was a "bet the house" technology, and luckily it seems to be paying off.

UDF tech seems to be next, and I'd be willing to bet there are UDF partnerships forming that we don't even know about yet.

It's going to be fascinating, nonetheless!


User currently offlineUnited727 From United States of America, joined Nov 2010, 399 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 5384 times:

Quoting EaglePower83 (Reply 3):
UDF tech seems to be next

If UDF is "Unducted Fan", hasen't that failed miserably in the past. To a lay-person, one would think that UDF would be looked at no differently than a Turbo Prop engine. Most flyers care very little for those aircraft. I'm interested in knowing, what advances in UDF are going to make it succeed different from the tests in the 80's.



Looking for the impossible way to save those dying breeds!!!!
User currently offlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12907 posts, RR: 100
Reply 5, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 5353 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

A 'new engine vendor' will most likely be a growth of an existing partner or small engine vendor. One is forgetting Williams, Honda, and a few others.

But a big engine is tied to the success of an expensive to engineer airframe. Who will bet their success on a company without the tremendous experience required to develop an engine? Honda uses GE as a partner to ensure their Hondajet will have an engine durable and dependable enough for the market.

One cannot ignore market demands. Time between overhauls must increase or market share will drop.

The most likely new competition will be a Chinese government funded design with purchased Russian assistance with many Western bought components and sub-systems.

Quoting aviatorcraig (Thread starter):
In the West these engines had a reputation (not always based on hard evidence) for being thirsty, unreliable and having poor TBO/time on wing figures.

Have you ever taken apart a Russian engine? They were not built for field maintenance! I'm talking fuel injectors welding into the engine (normally a LRU on Western engines). In general, their cycle lives were half to a third of a Western engine.

On the plus side, they were light. The materials used in the Russian engines are now finding their way into western engines. In particular, all their tricks for wielding materials (e.g., Titanium, but also some of the aluminum alloys that were considered unweldable by Western companies in the past.)

This is similar to why there isn't a new competitor to Intel. Ok, ARM is gaining share (including in iOS and Android devices), but that is an old architecture that has been under development for decades.

The advantage of Western engine companies (or their Partners)

Advanced fan technology (RR, GE, and Pratt are all competitive with every one else at least a few percent in fuel burn behind)
Advanced metals. Every engine company develops their own and keeps the recipes as closely guarded secrets.
Advanced high temperature coatings. While the basics are well known, the major engine companies produce coatings that withstand another 50F to 100F in temperature and last 4X as long as what anyone else produces.
Compressors. Search on GE's scalloped compressors. While 'vector theory' of compression is well known, the application is art as much as science.
The GTF gearbox: Pratt spent a billion to develop that and many a year.

Quoting EaglePower83 (Reply 3):
Pratt's GTF was a "bet the house" technology, and luckily it seems to be paying off.

Pratt spent decades and tons of money to get the GTF ready for launch.

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 2):
There is a huge technology gap. There is also the logistics gap.

As mentioned before in several threads, the current aircraft manufacturers - aircraft, engines, electronics, etc - have huge global support and resupply systems in place.

   It isn't just producing a good engine, but also supporting. For example the CF-34-10 has some external engine components being exposed to conditions that age them more than expected. GE is spending quite a bit of money to increase durability even though these are LRUs which could have been ignored by GE. It is not only supplying the airlines, but finding out the issues and fixing them.

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 1):
On top of that, core engine technologies like turbine materials and EECs are heavily export controlled. A new entrant would have to re-engineer that stuff almost from scratch. Possible, but slow and expensive.

   And cores are about to undergo a technology shift. It will be a challenge to compete at the top level.

Quoting United727 (Reply 4):
To a lay-person, one would think that UDF would be looked at no differently than a Turbo Prop engine.

The UDF has a higher cruise speed than a turboprop. That is a significant cost advantage on flights over 250nm (most flights post 9/11 due to the costs/delays of security). For flights



Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
User currently offlineaviatorcraig From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2010, 204 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 5269 times:

Thanks for your insight guys.

The thing I get from this is it would take at the very least a whole load of money.

The governments of both Russia and China will provide significant funds to their engine manufacturers to support their indigenous military products in preference to "buying in" from a foreign supplier. Could this military investment have some crossover into the civil field?

I know it is Wiki but I found this very interesting:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shenyang_WS-10



707 727 Caravelle Comet Concorde Dash-7 DC-9 DC-10 One-Eleven Trident Tristar Tu-134 VC-10 Viscount plus boring stuff!
User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 7, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 5151 times:

Quoting United727 (Reply 4):
If UDF is "Unducted Fan", hasen't that failed miserably in the past.

The UDF did what it was supposed to do (cut fuel consumption by a lot without sacrificing much cruise speed). The reason it "failed" is that it's reason d'etre at the time (high fuel prices) went away. Needless to say, that reason is back. It was also very loud, which wasn't such a failure then but is an issue now...but at least one engine OEM says they've fixed the noise problem (without saying how).

Quoting United727 (Reply 4):
To a lay-person, one would think that UDF would be looked at no differently than a Turbo Prop engine. Most flyers care very little for those aircraft.

Flyers don't like turboprops because they're slower and they see the giant prop spinning outside their window. A UDF will probably be rear-mounted and will go considerably faster.

Quoting United727 (Reply 4):
I'm interested in knowing, what advances in UDF are going to make it succeed different from the tests in the 80's.

The biggie isn't in the UDF itself, it's that fuel price has gone way up (again). But the other is much better ability to design fan aerodynamics. We've got ~30 years of 3D CFD improvements to rest on.

Quoting aviatorcraig (Reply 6):
The governments of both Russia and China will provide significant funds to their engine manufacturers to support their indigenous military products in preference to "buying in" from a foreign supplier. Could this military investment have some crossover into the civil field?

Yes, definitely. Most of what goes into the core will be directly transferable. The big missing pieces are global support network and the fan, but those are conquerable with time and money.

Tom.


User currently offlineblrsea From India, joined May 2005, 1415 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 5037 times:

There is also lots of institutional knowledge built up by these companies over the last half a century. That is very hard to transfer, or to build up from scratch. And they have a huge database of test results too built up, which aids in simulation, testing, designing new tests etc. So, even if someone buys technology, it takes time to figure out why some of the design considerations were made.

An analogy is in software development. When projects are transferred from one team to another, even if we have the source code in hand, it is sometimes hard to figure out why some changes were made, which don't seem to be optimum. However, only when the code runs for a while in real-world application and encounters issues will we be able to understand the reasons(of course things are easy if there is good documentation, and there are people available to seek for clarification. But in real world, thats not always the case).


User currently offlineabba From Denmark, joined Jun 2005, 1330 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 4783 times:

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 1):
Yes, if they're willing to sink enough money into it over more than a decade. So far, Russian investors and government haven't seemed eager or willing to do that, but that could change.



I would imagine that after such a program has been implemented, the established players will all have moved on to such a degree that the product will be outdated more or less from day one. A new entrant will not only need to build something that is competitive with today's products but with what the established players will offer in ten years time - which we might not even know now!

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 2):
But for all practical purposes, it is too big an investment for anyone in the world to really try to break into.
Quoting lightsaber (Reply 5):
The most likely new competition will be a Chinese government funded design with purchased Russian assistance with many Western bought components and sub-systems.



I would imagine that we could see Chinese or Russian funds buying into one of the established players that at some point might be getting behind the rest. Then move at least certain parts of the R&D and production home.


User currently offlinePlanemaker From Tuvalu, joined Aug 2003, 6126 posts, RR: 34
Reply 10, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 3463 times:

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 5):
This is similar to why there isn't a new competitor to Intel. Ok, ARM is gaining share (including in iOS and Android devices), but that is an old architecture that has been under development for decades.

In addition, ARM doesn't have any "fabs" but licences out their architecture to semiconductor manufacturers.

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 7):
The biggie isn't in the UDF itself, it's that fuel price has gone way up (again).

And if oil drops down to $40/bbl, as some analysts can see happening, then we'll see UDF "fail" again... unless there is significant carbon taxes in the future.



Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
User currently offlineDrColenzo From UK - Scotland, joined Jan 2012, 138 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3117 times:

Quoting aviatorcraig (Reply 6):
I know it is Wiki but I found this very interesting:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shenyan...WS-10

That is a brilliant wiki page, one of the best, I should know as I wrote part of it!

Only kidding, not being an arse!  

Being serious, my wiki edits were based upon working in a research group a couple of years back on the origins of Chinese R&D. What we discovered in general was there was much more of a focus on evolutionary development in China, using existing, established pathways and not on the 'clean sheet' R&D that has been undertaken in places like Japan and Korea when those nations were developing an industrial base. More worrying was the state of educational practice in engineering, whereby established processes were treating as inalienable facts, indeed almost like natural constants and any new processes were to be assimilated, there was no focus on improving new methods of working. This was 2008 and whilst I believe that eventually China can catch with technical ability in the US, Russia, Japan, France or the UK for example, my professional view is that it will take a VERY long time and maybe not at all unless the educational culture changes.

Back to the WS-10....

Which is a very good example, as the core for the prototypes and early versions came from the CFM-56 (someone has erroneously put that this was drived from the GE F101 engine, it is the other way around, will edit) engines imported as spares in the early 1980s. Now, some in China are putting around that the engine now has a superior, local core - well if that is the case then the entire basis for Chinese R & D will be turned on its head as that would NEVER have happened before! Rather, the core will be a copy and it is highly likely that in any area the Chinese has a deficiency in metallurgy or material science, they would have used inferior components to those used by CFM International.

Which is why I changed the frankly ludicrous WS-10 wiki, utter tosh.

This is a story across a lot of Chinese industry; the main naval radars and sonar have their origins in French components imported in the 1980s and without the assistance of Russia and former Soviet companies, well, a lot of aeronautical and military developments just would not have happened.

So, where will the next generation of competitors for GE, PW and RR come from?

Japan and Korea: They have the developed industrial bases combined with the technology and the capital structure to undertake the work to build a large turbofan that can compete on a commercial basis. This does not mean that China will not come up with a commercial turbofan, but in the view of most in the know it will based on imported technology and whilst it will not in doubt that it will be competitive in terms price, such an engine without the local technology base will, in my view be a retrograde step as far as innovation is concerned.


User currently offlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12907 posts, RR: 100
Reply 12, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 2795 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting aviatorcraig (Reply 6):
The thing I get from this is it would take at the very least a whole load of money.

And time. It can be done. But is one copying designs or prgressing? Engines improve fuel efficiency 1/2 to 1 percent per year. That is the pace of technological development.

Quoting aviatorcraig (Reply 6):
The governments of both Russia and China will provide significant funds to their engine manufacturers to support their indigenous military products in preference to "buying in" from a foreign supplier. Could this military investment have some crossover into the civil field?

Yes. But there is a difference in concept. Both assume conscript mechanics with little training. So both sacrifice cycles per overhaul in their military designs for reduced decisions by line mechanics. This fundamentally produces an engine that has far higher maintenance costs per takeoff, but is really simple to keep flying to short military missions. It is based on the assumption the air war has been won or lost within the first 36 hours (which is the case in war) and that only about 20 days of 'intense air support' is required. The downside is that the high maintenance costs result in fewer training hours for most (non-elite) military pilots versus their western counterparts.

Because their military designs do not have as many economic concerns as western designs, less of the technology transfers over.

Quoting Planemaker (Reply 10):
In addition, ARM doesn't have any "fabs" but licences out their architecture to semiconductor manufacturers.

Sort of how vendors license stuff to GE and Pratt...   

Quoting DrColenzo (Reply 11):
China are putting around that the engine now has a superior, local core - well if that is the case then the entire basis for Chinese R & D will be turned on its head as that would NEVER have happened before!

Superior to the CFM-56-7? Sure. Quite a bit has gone on since that core was launched. In particular higher Mach# compressors and the 'hatchet head' compressor blades (also called 'scimitar blades'). But versus the LEAP?   

Just make the CFM-56 contra-rotating would give it superior core performance. Heck, it isn't even a dual stage high turbine design.    Do not get me wrong, it has some great engineering in it. But technology has moved on since the F101 and certain fundamental design concepts that were fixed back then require a 'clean sheet' design to undo.

Lightsaber



Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
User currently offlineDrColenzo From UK - Scotland, joined Jan 2012, 138 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 2740 times:

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 12):
Superior to the CFM-56-7? Sure. Quite a bit has gone on since that core was launched. In particular higher Mach# compressors and the 'hatchet head' compressor blades (also called 'scimitar blades'). But versus the LEAP?   

Just make the CFM-56 contra-rotating would give it superior core performance. Heck, it isn't even a dual stage high turbine design.    Do not get me wrong, it has some great engineering in it. But technology has moved on since the F101 and certain fundamental design concepts that were fixed back then require a 'clean sheet' design to undo.

I genuinely see and appreciate what you are saying, but what I am putting forward is that Chinese turbofan R&D is based around the WS-10, which is based around the CFM-56 and they have not really made any great forward movements from this starting point - all the more recent developments are not making themselves know in China and will not until the technology is imported from another country in its mature form - just the way the place seems to be working (for now at least). This inhibits technical development and therefore commercial engineering in China because someone else will always have 'the edge', which is a strangely risk advertise strategy that, to be honest, I have problems understanding.


Top Of Page
Forum Index

This topic is archived and can not be replied to any more.

Printer friendly format

Similar topics:More similar topics...
Can KLM Re-enter The NGO Market? posted Mon Mar 21 2005 06:29:45 by Ktachiya
Should Boeing/Airbus Enter The Regional Market? posted Tue Apr 17 2001 01:59:22 by AC320
Could HA Compete In The US/AuNZ Market? posted Sun Mar 11 2012 22:25:56 by DocLightning
Why Doesn't NZ Re-enter The SYD-LAX Market? posted Sun Nov 12 2006 05:06:12 by ZKNBX
Engine Market Shares On The 777 posted Thu Nov 29 2001 11:11:14 by Raggi
Why Has The RJ Market Faltered? posted Tue Dec 4 2012 19:34:15 by RussianJet
Could Thomson Ever Send The 787 To SAN? posted Mon Dec 3 2012 05:59:33 by LGWflyer
Could United Partner With The Nbcf? posted Mon Oct 8 2012 16:23:27 by 1337Delta764
Questions About KLM And The California Market posted Fri Aug 24 2012 06:57:38 by g500
AR Trying To Get The PU Market Share By Force posted Sun Jul 8 2012 09:13:53 by Gonzalo