Lumberton From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 4708 posts, RR: 21 Posted (6 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 11660 times:
Dougloid's comments way down on this thread and a thoughtful exchange between another member and I via IM whetted my interest as to the specifics of the engine competition for the A400. Boeing, Lawmakers Reject Splitting Tanker Order (by Keesje Aug 7 2007 in Military Aviation & Space Flight)
Quote: The TP400-D6 fully meets the required specification. The choice of the TP400-D6 was the result of an exhaustive evaluation of two separate engine proposals submitted by Pratt & Whitney Canada and EPI. EPI is a European joint venture company consisting of Rolls-Royce, Snecma Moteurs, MTU Aero Engines and Industria de Turbopropulsores (ITP), brought together to manage the programme. The TP400-D6 will be the most powerful turbo-prop engine ever produced in the western world and, combined with the aircraft's aerodynamic qualities, will make the A400M the world's fastest new-generation turbo-prop aircraft.
Quote: The selection of EuroProp's engines represented a contentious issue; until the 11th hour, Pratt & Whitney Canada had been perceived as the winning engine manufacturer on technical and cost merit. However, intense last-minute pressure from European governments and industry altered Airbus' stance and forced them to go with EuroProp's proposal.
Can anyone shed more light on what took place?
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
Big engine, big questions
The A400M engine selection by itself speaks eloquently about the state of transatlantic defense relations. The general perception, probably accurate, is that the North American bid never had a chance, and that Airbus’s objective in encouraging this bid was to pressure European engine contractors on price. The Pratt & Whitney Canada bid was about 20% lower than the EPI bid, and although EPI did not meet Pratt’s price, it came down enough for European politicians to help make the case for a European solution.
Yet EPI has a difficult ride ahead. The company, a consortium comprising Rolls-Royce (28%), France’s Snecma (28%), Germany’s MTU (28%), and Spain’s ITP (16%), must create the biggest turboprop ever built outside the old Soviet Union. The first engine is scheduled for delivery in August 2005, with a first flight in September 2007, a very aggressive development schedule.
The TP400 will be an all-new engine, unlike the original TP400 proposal, which was based around Snecma’s M88 core and rejected because of poor anticipated performance. Developing a new geared turbine in this size class—greater than 11,000 shaft horsepower—will have numerous risks attached. It is unlikely that EPI will make any money on this $2.8-billion contract. And, of course, there is the big risk that the A400M program will be shelved. But if the program succeeds, with production of about 800 engines, this work would be a considerable boost to the European engine industry.
Still, subcontracting this engine to a non-European company would have spread risk and costs outside Europe. Pratt & Whitney Canada had proposed a well-defined project using the core of its PW800 jet, and the company is the historic market leader in turboprop engines (although Rolls-Royce manufactures the C-130J’s 4,600-shp AE2100, currently the largest turboprop engine). Pratt’s proposed A400M engine, the PW180, would have had a high degree of European content—about 75%, according to company officials.
One of the motivating factors behind a European engine selection was the same transatlantic tension that in part engendered the A400M itself. To be fair, the U.S. market has always been difficult for European industry. Yet the appearance of favoritism in this engine selection, along with a hasty rebuff to a North American competitor, will contribute to that tension. It can safely be assumed, for example, that Pratt’s sister company, Sikorsky, will have an easier time arguing that the U.S. should ignore any bids from European helicopter manufacturers until military contracts become a two-way street.
KC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 11909 posts, RR: 52 Reply 4, posted (6 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 11493 times:
Quoting Keesje (Reply 2): Maybe the P&W would have been a superior, cheap, on time & super efiicient engine.
Keesje, are you saying that P&W Canada ( a very experienced engine manufacturer) would have built a better, more efficent, more reliable, and cheaper engine than EPI ( a new but inexperienced engine company) can in Europe?
Of course the decision on the engines most likely cost EADS/Airbus the Canadian cargo airplane order (they ordered the C-17 and C-130J over the A-400M).
LY744 From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 5536 posts, RR: 10 Reply 6, posted (6 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 11393 times:
A bit OT, but has there ever been a military aircraft project as mismanaged as the A400M? This thing is as old as the ATF (F-22) and the Eurofighter, but unlike those projects, the A400 is still a paper tiger. All they have to show for it is some computer graphics, the same as the ones I saw in an aviation magazine 12 years ago. The An-70 is ahead of this thing by about 15 years already (are the Russkies getting good at copying Western designs or what?). Coincidentally, the An-70 is exactly what the A400 is going to become: a very nice airplane with no future. Only a thousand times cheaper.
Quote: The TP400-D6 engine, which is being designed and manufactured to power the new Airbus A400M military transport aircraft, continues to undergo extensive performance and operability tests throughout Europe on EPI partners' indoor and outdoor facilities. A total of ten TP600-D6 engines will be built and tested for certification. To date, the TP400-D6 engine has logged more than 300 hours of testing.
TexL1649 From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 265 posts, RR: 0 Reply 8, posted (6 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 11378 times:
Quoting Lumberton (Reply 7): The An-70 is ahead of this thing by about 15 years already (are the Russkies getting good at copying Western designs or what?). Coincidentally, the An-70 is exactly what the A400 is going to become: a very nice airplane with no future. Only a thousand times cheaper.
I don't think Antonov had to copy EADS concept sketches in the late 80's to build the AN-70. As Europe has become more socialist it has self evidently come closer to Soviet-era economic efficiency, as exemplified by the 1982-2007 A400M project. I think they will build about 100-200 A400M's eventually, and it will probably be a good aircraft, with a nice niche. It's crazy management of projects like this that lead to the other side of the coin arguments though, such as "we need to buy the KC-767 because we don't want to buy a european aircraft."
If everyone had agreed to buy AN-70's (or license build them) 10-20 years ago...oh well. There's a down-side to trade inefficiencies, and it isn't just 1 small-ish buy of A-400M's by Canada.
There were actually charges that Airbus stole from the AN-7x program, actually.
"The An-70 is a unique aircraft superior to any other transport plane in its class. European aerospace monopoly that is Airbus was not so much concerned over losing the FLA* contract as it was afraid of letting Antonov on Western European markets and in particular on defense markets. Today some An-70 developers allege that Airbus "borrowed" many features of the An-70 for its A400M: in the end the "evaluation" of the An-7X by the DaimlerChrysler was not a complete waste of time for the German company. Europe's EADS is actively trying to attract some of the An-70 developers to working on the A400M program. These attempts will continue and already there are reports of various distinct technical solutions developed for the An-70 being applied to the A400M to make the aircraft more affordable."
Connies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13 Reply 9, posted (6 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 11369 times:
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 4): Of course the decision on the engines most likely cost EADS/Airbus the Canadian cargo airplane order (they ordered the C-17 and C-130J over the A-400M).
Quoting EBJ1248650 (Reply 5):
While this may be true, the impact isn't that great. Canada didn't buy many C-17s and it's not likely they'd have bought that many A400Ms.
I think the CF were going to buy the C-130J no matter what. The real debate was C-17 or not. Gen. Hillier was not a big fan, wanted more C-130Js, but the Defense Minister basically told him what to do, hence 4 C-17s.
I am not familiar with them, so that's why I didn;t mention them. Rolls-Royce, Snecma and MTU work together all the time, as well as with other manufacturers. I mean, I'm not contesting if the P&W is a better engine or not, I am not famliar with the whole subject. I'm just pointing out you should not argue that P&W is better because supposedly these European OEMs are incapable, and that is a rubbish argument to start with.
I think this thread might introduce a feeling the engine is a problem / bad idea. I think it is an innovative 10.000hp giant that has the potential to power new aircraft in the future at unsurpassed fuel efficiency. New technology includes three shafts, a 5.3m diameter 8 bladed composite propeller, the newest combuster technology, a counter rotating hpt, 10.690shp, an Overall Pressure Ratio of about 25:1 and a Rotor Inlet Temperature of roughly 1500K.
Quoting LY744 (Reply 6): the An-70 is exactly what the A400 is going to become: a very nice airplane with no future.
Some folks recently discovered a mean machine is born again at the wrong side of the Ocean but I can´t wait to see test pilots taking the Fly-by-Wire A400M in the air at Paris 2009.. The An-70 already showed what is possible with so much power installed..
Dougloid From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 18, posted (6 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 11064 times:
Quoting F27Friendship (Reply 13): I mean, I'm not contesting if the P&W is a better engine or not, I am not famliar with the whole subject. I'm just pointing out you should not argue that P&W is better because supposedly these European OEMs are incapable, and that is a rubbish argument to start with.
Direct your criticism at the people who made the argument if anyone did. I did not.
If (as you say) you're not familiar with the subject, how can you say "Well, this is rubbish-that isnt."? I mean, if you're not familiar with it you're not familiar with it, right?
Since you bring it up, P&W Canada did make a proposal for the A400M engine project and it would have come in at 20 per cent less than the product that was ultimately selected for political reasons.
P&W Canada does know what they are doing AND their business is in large part series production of substantial turboprop engines. They have a history of developing and marketing one successful engine project after another and have built literally thousands and thousands of turboprop engines that deliver economical and robust service every day of the week. Of all the turbine engines described in my 1963 edition of Wilkinson's Aircraft Engines of the World the UACL PT6 is probably the only one still in series production in large numbers used for new installations (althought the T58 and T64 are probably still being made in small numbers).
That is what you call a "successful track record" that you can take to the bank.
Now. Europrop is a special purpose combine created to build one engine type which has no civilian counterpart. And although collectively, the partners possess extensive experience in the aero turbine engine field they have not yet worked together substantially, so the results of that collaboration are as yet undefined.
So who shot whom in the ass on the A400M engine selection? I mean, I don't care one way or the other. You're paying one dollar in every five for the privilege though. Or at least you were back when the selection was made.
No doubt the cost advantage that would have accrued is even more significant today than it was back when the engine was selected because it's in the dollar zone.
F27Friendship From Netherlands, joined Jul 2007, 1123 posts, RR: 5 Reply 19, posted (6 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 11049 times:
Quoting Dougloid (Reply 18): If (as you say) you're not familiar with the subject, how can you say "Well, this is rubbish-that isnt."? I mean, if you're not familiar with it you're not familiar with it, right?
I'm not familiar with the A400M engine selection. I am familiar with 3 out of 4 companies involved in Europrop. All I was saying that KC135TopBoom had a lousy argument claiming they are inexperienced. Nothing more, nothing less.
Quoting Dougloid (Reply 18): Now. Europrop is a special purpose combine created to build one engine type which has no civilian counterpart. And although collectively, the partners possess extensive experience in the aero turbine engine field they have not yet worked together substantially, so the results of that collaboration are as yet undefined.
So you're saying that trying something new is a bad thing? Or that cooperating with a new partner is necessarily a bad thing? Why would that matter? Companies work together all the time. New partnerships come to light all the time. According to your analogy, the only ones who should build airplanes nowadays are the wright brothers?
Somehow that doesn't spell out success. If it wasn't for political BS, there would already be more examples of the An-70 in service with CIS countries than there are A400 orders. Speaking of political BS, we'll see what exactly comes out of the A400M in a couple years from now.
Dougloid From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 21, posted (6 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 10995 times:
Quoting F27Friendship (Reply 19): So you're saying that trying something new is a bad thing? Or that cooperating with a new partner is necessarily a bad thing? Why would that matter? Companies work together all the time. New partnerships come to light all the time. According to your analogy, the only ones who should build airplanes nowadays are the wright brothers?
Not "bad" but "unproven in practice". There is a substantial difference there.
TheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3382 posts, RR: 30 Reply 23, posted (6 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 10967 times:
Quoting Dougloid (Reply 21): Not "bad" but "unproven in practice". There is a substantial difference there.
True, but so was the KC 135 design when it first came to be. Now they are still flying. I think when people are developing an all-new plane which is to be used for 40 years, it should consequently use modern technology.
However, I also agree with you that it is dangerous, if they don't manage to get it right, the defense capabilities are endangered, as these planes are needed now, not in 10 years.
Dougloid From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 24, posted (6 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 10925 times:
Quoting F27Friendship (Reply 22): again, what does that tell you? There are many projects on the drawing boards that are still "unproven in practice" ,should for example the BWB research be canceled?
That's a foil. We're not talking about the BWB and I don't know a thing about it. I agree, research is nice, but that's not what we're talking about.
The development of an entirely new, special purpose, one off engine with no other uses by a consortium that, although the individual members have significant expertise have never worked together before should give pause for thought.
You and I simply have no idea how well they'll work together. I'm not saying that it bodes ill for the project but snags and delays will be part of that landscape. Rolls will make the hot end work, that's for sure, but getting the power from the output shaft through a gearbox and to a prop is a dicey business. Rolls has a bank of expertise here in the states on monster turboprops, which will come in handy, but the people doing the gearing are Fiat.
Developing a complicated new engine type is an enormously complex undertaking, even if all the constituencies work for the same employer. I did some work on the ATF3. Enough said about that.
25 F27Friendship: Fiat (today the're called Avio) do the gearing for every other aircraft-gasturbine in the world. All engine OEMS work with different suppliers a
26 Revelation: And yet we see it running on the test stand, do we not?
27 Dougloid: Quite true, you see *it* running on the test stand and not *them* hanging on a completed aircraft. Just in the interests of accuracy, you understand.
28 Keesje: I think the succesfull CFM56, V2500, GP7000 and others prove that working together isn't always a problem, contrary best of both world's is an opport
29 KC135TopBoom: I would, they have never built an engine together. What engines have been built?
30 F27Friendship: read and weep Who claimed again they never worked together?!
31 DEVILFISH: It's getting there..... http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...m-reaches-final-assembly-line.html Quote: "Work on the aircraft had been scheduled to
32 Dougloid: Why bother with a separate entity then? Eurojet GmbH....are they the same as Europrop Intl? I mean, different cities, different projects, different p
33 F27Friendship: obviously there are benefits of using this complicated organizations. I'm not a tax/organization/etc. specialist, but there most some reason
34 TheSonntag: This is a long european tradition. Virtually all defense products in the last decades used entirely new companies, for example "Panavia" for the Torn
35 Dougloid: You know and I know that the road to hell is paved with "That's the way we've always done it." It's not a very good reason for anything unless it's l
36 TheSonntag: Certainly, but all of the projects I mentioned were succesful. It is not easy to get different countries to work together, so the legal and practical
37 Baroque: No company is an island, Entire of itself. Each is a piece of THE continent, A part of the main. If a company be washed away by the sea, Europe is th
38 Moo: Taxation separation purposes and legal liability limitation - the individual cooperating companies are safe from litigation and pursuant of debt if i
39 Dougloid: See, now you're getting into my line of work and I can tell you that charade is not worth the paper it's printed on. If they stiffed the creditors no
40 Filton: On a related topic that doesn't warrant a new thread... Has anyone got any pics of the C-130 that has been modified to test the A400Ms engine? I know
41 Dougloid: I may not be able to oblige you but I found this pic of an old bucket that used to be around Sky Harbor when it was AiResearch Aviation and all was r
42 DEVILFISH: The latest photos of the testbed a/c available from the DB were still in its MET configuration. I couldn't find one with the TP400-6 engine mounted..
43 TexL1649: Given that the B-26 was a deathtrap with one engine out (One a day in Pensacola Bay; Why is a B-26 like a Florida hooker? Because it has no visible me
44 Dougloid: The B26 was known to all and sundry as the Baltimore Whore for the same reasons. I saw this old bucket a couple times in PHX. It was used as the flyi
45 Lumberton: France's defense minister notes a delay in the A400 reaching French forces. Engine problems. UPDATE 1-France sees delay to European military plane
46 Lumberton: Way off topic, but maybe of interest, Flight reports that the Russians are resuming production of the NK-12 engine! http://www.flightglobal.com/articl
47 A342: There are tons of examples of several European engine companies successfully working together, some of which have already been mentioned: RTM322, MTR3
48 TexL1649: Whoever designed the NK-12 should be enshrined in an aerospace museum somewhere. Incredible powerplant. PS: I am shocked, shocked(!!), that the A400M
49 TheSonntag: Unlike the EF 2000, which really is nice, but not needed that desperately, the A400 is needed yesterday... Very bad that they are so slow, and hard t
50 LTU932: Maybe they could partly go Canada's way and decide, at least as interim measure, to acquire either C-17s or C-130s. I'd love to see the C-17 flying f
51 Keesje: the reasons for it may be stupid but it will ensure the bear for anoth 25 yrs.. New materials, subcomponents should be able to improve on existing en
52 TexL1649: Keesje, I do appreciate your knowledge and candor in these forums. I also think that the A400M was notionally described in about 1982-1984, and it is
53 DEVILFISH: A month later..... http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...europrop-management-reshuffle.html Quote: "Airbus Military's flight-test schedule for the A4
54 Max78: TP400 should be delivered to Marshall end of October but the Hercules will not be flying until End of Feb 08... So, you ll have to wait for another mo
55 R2rho: On top of that, I don't remember where but I read that Marshall Aerospace found out (surprise!) that integrating an 11000shp engine on a C-130 is not
56 SCAT15F: Hey; How about a c-130 powered by 2 TP-400's instead of the current T-56/ AE-2100's? Methinks it would be faster and more fuel efficient by a signific