Apologies for the spelling: ive got three broken fingers as of last sunday in a rugby game sorry. Im on a study break so i thought i'd introduce a new topic and see what you guys thought about my thoughts on the subject.
Further to the KLM 777 post, i'd like to discuss what engine KLM are most likely to order for their triple sevens. So what engine do we reckon they will order? The Pratt and Whitney is used by Air China, Asiana, El Al, United, Korean, ANA, Egyptair, JAL, JAS. The GE90 is used by Saudi, Kuwait, China Southern, Varig, early BA, Aeroflot, Continental, and Air France. The most popular engine for the triple seven in terms of orders is the Rolls Royce Trent 800, which has been ordered by Singapore, British Airways, American Airlines, Delta, Cathay Pacific, Thai, Malaysian, Air Europe (Might be P&W now that i think about it), and Emirates.
Other operaotrs which have ordered the 777 have not yet committed to an engine type. Alitalia = I havent heard what powerplant they went for, but i would imagine they would have gone with Pratt and Whiteny. Eva Air = Havent got a clue. Air New Zealand = Not a confirmed order, but i would think that they would go with Rolls. PIA = they are on about getting the first batch of GE powered non-ER British Airways triple sevens. So that just leaves KLM.
So, if KLM havent decided already, and ive missed the press announcement, then which do we reckon they will order? They do not have a history with Rolls Royce, So i suspect that Rolls is the least likely despite the popualrity of the Trent 800, which is a triple shaft design, and is the smallest and lightest of the three. The GE90 is not as popular, though popularity has nothing to do with engine quality. its just down to preference, though some airlines have ordered the Rolls where it seemed very unlikely that they would go for a non US design, like Delta and American. Neither of these have much of a history with non-US stuff, (they are a notorious no-airbus zone) but both went for the Rolls despite their collective love for P&W and GE powerplants on their existing fleet. So, i surmise that there must be something about the rolls that Airlines like. Ease of maintenance springs to mind, and a degree of parts comonality with the RB211 which is in wide service around the world, and well known to anyone who operated the L1011 or a lot of 757's for example. The Rolls is apparently the most simple of the three. Having said that, i dont think it is the best in terms of fuel efficiency and maintenance per cycle for shorter haul operations, because if it was, Rolls would the engine of choice for the domestic Japan market instead of the Pratt and Whitney. So, i surmise, and i realise there probably isnt much in it, that the Pratt is the best engine for shorter haul destinations, where flight time is quite short, and the fuel load not very heavy as a result.
Where will KLM be running their triple sevens? Canada, Carribean, some asian destinations, and north american flifghts either as a repeat daily after a 747, or a daily / nearly daily lower yield like BA do with Phoenix, Denver, Charlotte, Baltimore, Cleveland, and San Diego. Most of the 747's run to the top line US destinations and the top line Asian destinations, and the MD11's take the medium density routes, and the 767's take the lower density ones. Point is, the triple sevens will go all over, as they can and will take some of all three types of route, and so do not have a specific route density in mind so they will have to take an engine that is as efficient from Schipol to Heathrow (They use a 767-300 during the week and fill it up too, so might we see a triple seven? KLM seem to think they can get 250+ bums on seats on monday wednesday and friday mornings, so how bout another 50?) as it is runing Schipol to Osaka (MD11 currently i think) and San Francisco (767 / 747-400) and St Maarten (MD11 / 747-200SUD)
So where does that leave engine choice? I havent read of anyone who has had any big problems with the engines they have chosen other than BA not having a great deal of fun with their early GE90's, and Emirates and Malaysian having some bad bird strikes with their Trents. (not really a problem with the engine per se, but it is when a replacement engine is a bit tricky to get hold of!) None of the big operators are having problems, and its very rare for any 777 to go tech, so we can safely say that all three powerplants are very reliable, and all have roughly comparable fuel economy, with the GE90 being slightly better over very long haul distances, and the Pratt and Whitney being slightly better shorter haul. In this case, i suspect that the best powerplant for KLM's usage needs would be the trent, as it has a number of benefits to it.
* BA already operate A LOT of rolls powered triple sevens and the two companies are known to be quite close, so it wouldnt be too much of a problem to train crew, maybe wet lease a rolls powered triple seven to do the crew and maintenance training from BA. Failing that, instigate a maintenance sabattical programme where KLM engineers spend time with the BA staff at Heathrow and also at BAMC in Cardiff to learn the ins and outs of the Trent 800.
* Rolls are a European Company, and there will almost certainly be some pressure behind the scenes for them to order the trent, as it would be seen as a signal of European Solidarity = i doint agree with it, but it does happen.
* Spare parts will be easier and quicker to get hold of if they are built in a neighbouring country such as the UK instead of the US for the other two powerplants. (actually this is in part nullified when i realise that GE have a parts and maintenance plant in south wales, which is in the UK too. In fact i think they make them there, do they? Have to find out about that one...)
* They are on about ordering some A330-200's in the future. By far the most popular engine on the A330 is the Rolls Trent 700, and whilst not identical, does have a high degree of parts commonality, and is broadly a very similar engine merely with a larger fan diameter and larger chamber and fuel pumps. Already having the Trent familiy in place would undoubtedly help in the integration process of the new engine. One could argue of course that the other choice of powerplant of the a330 is also quite similar to the P&W dominated current fleet.
* Could it be that the Rolls is the cheaper of the three options? More have been ordered, so it may be that the Rolls is the cheapest option. Whoever offers the cheapest engine will be at a massive advantage in this race, and KLM are pretty good at not spending more than they need to, to get what they require (the stretching of their -200 series jumbos to extend their lives is a good example)
* In future, it is more likely that Rolls powered triple sevens will be more freely available on the second hand market becasue there are more of them, so by ordering Rolls Trent powered triple sevens, further fleet aquisitions maye be made easier.
* The A380 is Trent 700 powered, so if they should decide to order it later (much later i agree but who knows what will happen in ten years time?) a degree of fleet commonality will make the acquisition of this easier. Actually, i think the A380 is quite likely to be ordered by KLM. They have a couple of routes that would really make one pay.
* It seems likely that further triple seven orders will be forthcoming at some stage after the first batch have been accepted, and the 747-200SUD's will need replacing sooner or later, ( it is my understanding that the 777's are to replace the MD11's and the long range configured 767's) and given the need to expand once the industry picks up again, there looks like a market for the newer 777-300ER once that gets into operation, (perhaps to replace the earlier 747-400's = running costs) and Rolls are supposed to be offering a beefed up Trent (900 perhaps?) to go with it. Even so, the current crop of stretch triple sevens are mostly Rolls powered (Emirates, Singapore, and Thai). (the others are Pratt and Whitney powered = ANA, JAL, and Korean) (the only GE90 powered stretches will be the new Air France ones we surmise, as they havent announced the powerplant yet, and we assume they will be the same as their current -200's) Does anyone know what the Asiana and Eva stretches will be powered by?
So, for these reasons, i hope Rolls will get the KLM triple seven order, though i suspect they will plum for Pratt and Whitney as their current fleet is p&w powered.
If i had to guess, id say Rolls by a pinch, but theres not much in it, and its too close to call with any certainty.
What do you chaps think?
Have i missed anything important? Have i missed any other upcoming 777 deliveries? I cant think of any, but you can never tell : )
What do you mean you dont have any bourbon? Do you know how far it is to Houston? What kind of airline is this???