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The End Of Engine Choices Approaching?  
User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 7143 posts, RR: 46
Posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 11538 times:

It just occurred to me that of current Boeing planes in production, the only ones offering engine choices are the 767 and 787 (assuming nobody is going to order any more 772ER's). Airbus has no engine choice for the A350; but so far they have preserved it for the A320, the A320NEO and the A380. Boeing seems comfortable with this situation, Airbus less so. Which way will things go in the future? My guess is that engine choice will become a thing of the past; the cost of developing and certifying more than one engine on an airframe is just too high, and offering only one will ultimately save airlines money. The counter argument is that competition drives improvement, and this will result in less and slower improvement in engines. My counter argument to this is that the competition will still be there-Boeing seems to be primarily GE while Airbus heavily favors RR. Any thoughts?


The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
37 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinejetblueguy22 From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 2838 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 11432 times:
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I don't think airlines are going to want single engine choices, and the fact that manufacturers do it surprises me. Was it the L1011 that got stuck because of the Rolls Royce delays? I would think Boeing and Airbus would want to keep multiple engine options available in order to keep things flowing smooth in case of delays. If Boeing could have pulled off the engine switch idea it could have really been a case for having multiple engine manufacturers. That way if the engine isn't up to spec or they get a better deal they can say see you later, we're switching to the other guy.
Just my .02
Pat



All of the opinions stated above are mine and do not represent Airliners.net or my employer unless otherwise stated.
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 20351 posts, RR: 59
Reply 2, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 11421 times:

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 1):
I don't think airlines are going to want single engine choices, and the fact that manufacturers do it surprises me.

There is some trouble. When you have only two manufacturers world-wide and they decide that this how they are going to operate, then their customers truly do need them more than they need their customers. That is never an enviable position to be in as a customer.


User currently offlinescbriml From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 12887 posts, RR: 46
Reply 3, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 11345 times:
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Lack of engine choice is not a new thing. Without checking every type built since the war, it wouldn't surprise me if those frames offering a choice were in the minority. Given the volume sold, it's slightly surprising that Boeing has never offered a choice on the 737.

I would disagree that Airbus 'heavily favours' RR. The original A350 was offered exclusively with GE engines. Other than the -1000, the A350XWB is available for any other manufacturer that want to make an offering.

A320 - RR part share of the less popular option, will have no share on neo
A330 - big share by virtue of having by far the best offering, but certainly not exclusive
A340-500/600 - sole source, but sadly few sales
A380 - more customers (I think) but less sales, primarily because EK chose the opposition



Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana! #44cHAMpion
User currently offlineexFWAOONW From United States of America, joined Nov 2009, 415 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 11023 times:

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 1):
I don't think airlines are going to want single engine choices, and the fact that manufacturers do it surprises me. Was it the L1011 that got stuck because of the Rolls Royce delays?

Yes it was. I think it happens due to short memories or major loss of institutional knowlege.



Is just me, or is flying not as much fun anymore?
User currently offlineajd1992 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 10922 times:

More to the point, 99% of commuter prop planes like the Dash 8 and the ATR have never had an engine choice. It's not the massive problem it's made out to be - it's not like ordering a car where you can have a petrol, diesel, choice of gearbox/engine size, that sort of thing. Manufacturers put engines on their planes that can lift it into the sky. Sure, some are more powerful than others but that's comparing it to what displacement your car engine is. You can still drive it regardless if it's a 1.0l engine or a 5 litre V8.

User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 6, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 10693 times:

I'd like to lob in a factoid: engines are frequently leased, just as the a/c are. However, from different leasing companies. The airlines will want to maintain a choice in engines since they are then in the position of playing one lessor (and manufacturer) off against another.


Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently onlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31420 posts, RR: 85
Reply 7, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 10625 times:
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Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 1):
I would think Boeing and Airbus would want to keep multiple engine options available in order to keep things flowing smooth in case of delays.

The RB211 was a special case in that it was the first generation of a new family of engines so the decision to sole-source it was quite risky.

The GE90-11xB on the 777-200LR, 777-300ER and 777 Freighter were derivatives of the GE90-7xB and GE90-9xB, so there was significantly less risk. And even then, the sole-source decision was driven by the engine makers themselves, not Boeing, as only Rolls-Royce was willing to share the market. Pratt's failures with the PW4000-112 family meant they were not going to be a popular choice so they demanded exclusivity as it was the only real way they could expect to sell. GE had invested billions on the GE90 as the only "clean sheet" design for the original 777 models and they also demanded exclusivity to ensure they could recover the costs.

GE did secure a two-year from EIS exclusivity deal for the GEnx-1A72 for the original A350, but after that the A350 would have also offered the Trent 1700. However, with both manufacturers botching their bleedless models, having two choices would not have prevented the A350 Mk. I entering service with below-spec SFC regardless of the engine chosen.   

GE was actually the original engine supplier for the A340-500/-600, however once James McNerney won the exclusivity deal for the 77L/77W/77F he then demanded the same on the A340-500/-600 at which point Airbus re-bid the deal between Pratt and Rolls-Royce, which Rolls-Royce won with the Trent 500. And the Trent 500 drew from the Trent 700 and Trent 800 so, like the GE90-11xB, it was not a new, untested design.




Quoting connies4ever (Reply 6):
I'd like to lob in a factoid: engines are frequently leased, just as the a/c are.

And then you have lessors like GECAS who prefer to lease planes with GE engines hanging on them.


User currently onlineVV701 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 7737 posts, RR: 17
Reply 8, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 8660 times:

It should be remembered that altough some aircraft have been launched without an engine choice, customer demand has later persuaded the airframe manufacturer to offer a choice. And this applies to other areas of aircraft specification.

Consider Boeing and BA. The first 737 built for BA had the line number 599. It first flew on 12 September 1979. But it was not delivered to BA until 4 December 1981 because it was retained by Boeing for flight testing of the Category 3 autoland specification made by BA.

More relevant to this thread the first BA 763 had the line number 265. It was the first and one of only 31 RR powered 767s built. Twenty-eight of these 31 aircraft were initially ordered by BA. And, like the first BA 737 , the first BA 767 was retained by Boeing for testing and certification. It first flew on 23 May 1989 but was not delivered until 25 April of the following year.

So if history is any guide to the future, it is not just the airframe manufacturers who will determine whether a choice of engines is available on future aircraft. Buyers appear to have influence.


User currently offlineRayChuang From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 8037 posts, RR: 5
Reply 9, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 8546 times:

I personally think after the gigantic fiasco of the L1011 program--when that plane was too reliant on the Rolls-Royce RB.211 engine--airplane manufacturers for a long time were reluctant to build a jet airliner that has only one engine supplier (the exceptions for some time were the Boeing 737-300/400/500 series and the Aibus A340-200/300 series).

That was why it was controversial that Boeing went with exclusively GE for the 777-200LR and 777-300ER programs. If GE had run into serious problems with the GE90-110B and -115B engines, that would have sunk the project pretty quickly. I do think that GE Aero Engines may finally offer an 85,000 lb. thrust version of the GENx engine for the Airbus A350XWB-900 as a customer option.


User currently offlinegrimey From Ireland, joined Jun 2005, 459 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 8215 times:

What about all the R&D costs for adding an engine choice? If Boeing decides to build the B7XX and chooses GE to make the engines but when the plane goes on the market RR comes along with a proposal but then Boeing will have to research if that RR engine can fly the 7XX and if it meets the requirements of the type. I'm sure they assess the feasibility of introducing new engines all the time.

If I was an airline I would want a choice of engine and the manufactures would want to give the options to clients however if they want to get new types of aircraft on the market in less time it may be just easier to deal with one engine manufacturer at the start.

Also engine manufacturers may not want to compete on an aircraft type if there is not likely to be much sales but when there is a better market for the aircraft then the engine companies will want a share in that market.


User currently offlineJAAlbert From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1624 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 7831 times:

We always speculate on this site how many aircraft a manufacturer must produce in order to break even. But, how many engines for a particular aircraft type must be sold for the engine manufacturer to break even? For the really big planes, the 380s for instance, not many of these planes are ordered compared to the rest of the market and not many of them ever will be - so the return on investment for these engines must be a much more risky proposition. (Doesn't the 748 share the 787 engine? If so that mitigates that risk) It seems engines for the really big planes would favor a single manufacturer, no?

User currently offlineJordanFittz From United States of America, joined Oct 2012, 8 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 6298 times:

Maintenance is also a huge part of the engine selection process. For example RR has a joint venture with SIA called SAESL for servicing Trent engines, hence why SIA is large customer for RR engines. LH is another airline which RR is heavily involved with on the maintenance side, again operating a large RR fleet. And on the flip side i believe Air France/KLM operate a GE based fleet, and they perform all the maintenance on these engines.

Maintenance is very lucrative business, and the engine manufacturers would idealy like to keep this business all to themselves. But the airlines also want a slice of the pie, therefore there has to be some give and take, which ultimately results in certain airlines favouring one manufacturer.

On a side note, it will be interesting to see how the negotiations for Air France/KLM's A350 engine maintenance pan out. Im sure any deal struck would have to favour one side more than the other, but working for RR myself i know how important 'Total Care' is to the business and its hard to see them budging, even if it means ceding the 787 selection to GE.


User currently offlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 13549 posts, RR: 100
Reply 13, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 5524 times:
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It is a business case. A business case that includes what the engine maker is willing to bring forward in risk sharing, maintenance, and development. The more competitive airframes have the more technological engines.

For airframes with small anticipated production rates (748, A340-500/600) and exclusive is required to incentivize the engine manufacturer to proceed. For otherwise there is no business case to develop.

For the 787, Boeing knew that one of 3 engine choices would have low resale value and thus we are at the end of offering 3 engines per airframe. This was the goal of the A350, but with the 787 and 748, GE was not in a position to develop a new core. Honestly, I didn't see the business case for RR... unless no one else entered the market and RR bet well.

Quoting SEPilot (Thread starter):
Airbus has no engine choice for the A350

But it is an option for another vendor to enter the market. The issue is only the cost of developing a new core (which is pricey).

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 2):
When you have only two manufacturers world-wide

Nitpick, Pratt is back with the PW1000G. They're not ready for a widebody, but soon...

Quoting JAAlbert (Reply 11):
But, how many engines for a particular aircraft type must be sold for the engine manufacturer to break even?

400 to 600 depending on the business case. The NEO and MAX will be towards the upper end. For minor derivatives, it can be as few as 20 (for an existing engine just certified to a new airframe with only a fuel map plug change). For engines such as the T500 which minimized new part development, I would guess about 250 (existing core and fan, but more detail optimization than RR led on to).

Note: As much as the GP7200 likes to lead on it was a derivative engine, too much was developed custom for myself to believe the break even is much below 400. The same with the T900. Oh, they could be at 300 as the technology wasn't pushed as it was with the GEnX and T1000 which will have far higher break even numbers (towards the 600). It might seem like a tight range, but production costs plummet after 200 engines and thus money is freed up to pay off the R&D.

Lightsaber



Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
User currently offlineRayChuang From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 8037 posts, RR: 5
Reply 14, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 5400 times:

I think one thing that concerns potential A350XWB customers is the fact the plane so far is exclusively using Trent XWB engines.

This could become a very nasty problem if Rolls-Royce runs into development problems with the Trent XWB, which could cause serious delays of development and FAA/EASA certification for airline service of the A350XWB. Given the bad experience at Boeing with the early JT9D engines on the 747-100 and Lockheed with the Rolls-Royce RB.211-22B engine, airlines want an engine choice when ordering a new plane. This is why I said earlier that Boeing's choice of using the GE90-110B/115B for their longer-range 777's was very controversial at the time, even if GE paid for much of the plane's development cost in exchange for its exclusivity. Imagine what would have happened if the GE90-110B/115B experienced serious development problems--it could have potentially sunk the project at a huge financial loss to both Boeing and GE.

In short, Airbus is really crossing its fingers that the Trent XWB will live up to its promises.


User currently offlineGeo772 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2004, 519 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 5382 times:

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 14):
This could become a very nasty problem if Rolls-Royce runs into development problems with the Trent XWB

Doesn't look like they are having any problems.

http://www.rolls-royce.com/news/pres...070213_easa_type_certification.jsp



Flown on A300B4/600,A319/20/21,A332/3,A343,B727,B732/3/4/5/6/7/8,B741/2/4,B752/3,B762/3,B772/3,DC10,L1011-200,VC10,MD80,
User currently offlinescbriml From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 12887 posts, RR: 46
Reply 16, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 5255 times:
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Quoting RayChuang (Reply 14):
I think one thing that concerns potential A350XWB customers is the fact the plane so far is exclusively using Trent XWB engines.

Concerned?   

I guess that concern is what's currently restricted the A350 to over 600 sales?

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 14):
This could become a very nasty problem if Rolls-Royce runs into development problems with the Trent XWB, which could cause serious delays of development and FAA/EASA certification for airline service of the A350XWB

Huh? It's already certified.

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 14):
In short, Airbus is really crossing its fingers that the Trent XWB will live up to its promises.

All the indications are that the Trent XWB will delight its customers.



Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana! #44cHAMpion
User currently offlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 13549 posts, RR: 100
Reply 17, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 5079 times:
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Quoting RayChuang (Reply 14):
In short, Airbus is really crossing its fingers that the Trent XWB will live up to its promises.

Airbus put still penalties on RR if they missed. That engine obviously had slack in its schedule to improve it if not all went well. Instead... It looks like RR delivered.

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 14):
This is why I said earlier that Boeing's choice of using the GE90-110B/115B for their longer-range 777's was very controversial at the time, even if GE paid for much of the plane's development cost in exchange for its exclusivity.

It was controversial due to a number of customers wanting the RR engine. I was working at Pratt at the time and we were *shocked* that not one of our customers cared if Pratt developed a higher thrust 777 engine after the PW4098. But they wanted a choice and as far as they were concerned GE and RR were 'good enough.'

There were issues with the GE-90-115 at EIS (e.g., the fuel injector leak). But that was fixed quickly and since then it has been a great engine and airlnes were long ago re-imbursed for fuel-injector replacement (including labor).



Quoting scbriml (Reply 16):
All the indications are that the Trent XWB will delight its customers.

   And RR really lucked out. As I noted, I didn't see the business case of RR developing such a custom engine unless there was to be no competition. Well... there isn't. I guess RR guessed GE's engineers workload well enough and they made the easy bet that Pratt wasn't ready.

Then again, I expected the XWB to do well, but not as spectacular as it has.


Having one engine *really* simplifies the airframe financing for there will be no mis-matched types to try and re-lease.

The big risk is Boeing betting on GE/CFM with the MAX.

With the Trent-XWB, Airbus wanted RR, GE, or Pratt to sign up to very strict fuel burn, reliability, and durability numbers. RR is meeting the promise by putting the 2nd turbine stage on the booster compressor.

But I do not expect the next Airbus or Boeing airframe to be sole-sourced.

It makes more sense for high risk airframes. For example, the C-series hasn't sold well enough to pay off Pratt's investment (I think that is a 600 engine to breakeven). Nor has the MRJ (much lower cost to breakeven by sharing the PW1500G's core in the PW1200.) Combined I think they will pay off. Actually, I think both will do well long term. But there is no business case for an alternate engine. Same with the C919 and E-jets.

Now the PW1100G will pay for the whole family. Even with a custom core.

I personally think we'll read a huge amount of 787 vs. A350 here over the next 20 years.   

Lightsaber



Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 20351 posts, RR: 59
Reply 18, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 4852 times:

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 13):
Nitpick, Pratt is back with the PW1000G. They're not ready for a widebody, but soon...

I'm talking about large commercial airframers. You have A and B. Period. If you would like a 250-seat aircraft, you may choose Boeing or Airbus. That's it.


User currently offlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 13549 posts, RR: 100
Reply 19, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 4539 times:
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Quoting DocLightning (Reply 18):
I'm talking about large commercial airframers.

ah... I took it as two engine vendors. Now your comment makes better since. Mea culpa.

Lightsaber



Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
User currently offlineRayChuang From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 8037 posts, RR: 5
Reply 20, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 4505 times:

You can laugh at me all you want, but do people remember that the development issues around 1970-1971 with the Rolls-Royce RB.211-22B engine nearly sank the L1011 project, or how Pratt & Whitney had a lot of trouble with the front fans on the 747-100 of the same period?

This is why getting an engine from a sole source isn't such a good idea, the more I think about it. That's why the Airbus A320 and A330 and Boeing 757, 767, 777 and 787 airliners all have multiple engine choices. Rolls-Royce has lucked out so far with the Trent XWB, since it is more or less a Trent 1000 with air-bleed systems, so the design doesn't require a big leap forward in technology. From what I've read so far, the test engine has performed well flying on the A380 prototype and just got its EASA flight certification, clearing the way for the first flight of the A350XWB-900 prototype later this year.


User currently offlinescbriml From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 12887 posts, RR: 46
Reply 21, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 4422 times:
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Quoting RayChuang (Reply 20):
remember that the development issues around 1970-1971 with the Rolls-Royce RB.211-22B engine nearly sank the L1011 project

Key word being, nearly. And it was a very long time ago now. Anything close to that in the last 20 years?

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 20):
That's why the Airbus A320 and A330 and Boeing 757, 767, 777 and 787 airliners all have multiple engine choices.

And I can provide a longer list of planes with no engine choice. A lack of engine choice hasn't stopped Boeing selling over 10,000 737s.   

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 20):
Rolls-Royce has lucked out so far with the Trent XWB

"Lucked out"? Frankly, that's an insult to everyone who works for RR.



Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana! #44cHAMpion
User currently offlinepacksonflight From Iceland, joined Jan 2010, 391 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 4251 times:

Quoting scbriml (Reply 21):
Key word being, nearly. And it was a very long time ago now. Anything close to that in the last 20 years?

There are some later problems, mainly tied to PW and its inability to deliver.

The Superfan for the A340 and the PW 6000 for the A318. The Superfan was going to be the sole engine for the A340, but PW could not deliver so Airbus had to go to CFM and get them to modify "of the shelve engine" to rescue the program.

Almost the same thing happened with the A318 which was going to have the PW 6000 as the sole engine. Ultimately PW could not deliver and the aircraft was certified with CFM. Later came the 6000 much short on promises if I remember correctly.

This is probably the reason why Airbus is not going with the GTF as the sole engine on the NEO. They have the CFM engine to fall back on if PW fails to deliver the third time.


User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 7143 posts, RR: 46
Reply 23, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 3714 times:

Quoting packsonflight (Reply 22):
This is probably the reason why Airbus is not going with the GTF as the sole engine on the NEO. They have the CFM engine to fall back on if PW fails to deliver the third time.

And perhaps this is why Boeing did not offer the GTF as an option on the MAX?



The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently onlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31420 posts, RR: 85
Reply 24, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 3671 times:
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Quoting SEPilot (Reply 23):
And perhaps this is why Boeing did not offer the GTF as an option on the MAX?

Pratt might not have been able to get a GTF on the MAX in what Boeing (and their customers?) considered a reasonable time frame.


25 lightsaber : Pratt has a history of missed: PW4062 (fuel burn, 4% IIRC) PW4068A (thrust miss due to compressor bleed issues) PW4098 (fuel burn miss, 4%) PW6000 (h
26 Enginefan : I think that airline demand and airframe manufacturer "security" will generally mean that multiple engine choices are available in the future - howeve
27 Stitch : I believe Boeing always was open to two engine choices for the 787 and I believe invited all three (RR, GE, P&W) to submit an option. I also beli
28 Post contains images Enginefan : I stand corrected! [Edited 2013-03-05 13:20:06]
29 EaglePower83 : I think PW mostly decided it wasn't worth the resources to try to get on the 787 at the same time as doing the GTF family. The thought is to dominate
30 strfyr51 : before anybody counts what isn't happening? GE has a sole source agreement with Boeing for the 777 LR's and the 747.. Boeing would drop the sole sourc
31 Post contains links EaglePower83 : Advanced technolgies, yes....but not as advanced as you'd think. Core from F119? Not so much. The GTF core is practically all-new. The PW6000 core wa
32 cornutt : How crosswise is P&W with Boeing right now? Enough so that Pratt might offer to re-engine 737NG's with GTF engines? Could be a blow against the e
33 EaglePower83 : IDK so much as it being Boeing is crosswise......as it is that GE has an exclusivitiy contract on the 737 frame right now. Once Boeing decides to rep
34 SEPilot : The DC-8 is the only case that I know of where a re-engine program was successfully done, and it was done with the cooperation of MD. I doubt that on
35 Stitch : It depends on how short-term a solution the MAX will be for Boeing. If the GTF proves to be a "game-changing" engine, then that will give Boeing the
36 SEPilot : Good point.
37 Post contains images lightsaber : I'm a HUGE fan of the GTF, but the reality is the LEAP has promised *enough* on the NEO to be competitive. While I see more upside potential for the
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