CX747
Topic Author
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Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:54 am

Comparing BA's GE 777s And RR 777s.

Fri Feb 14, 2003 10:15 am

British Airways currently operates two engines but 3 different "types" in it's 777 fleet.

(3) 777-200s GE90-76B G-ZZZA to G-ZZZC
(24) 777-200ERs GE-90B G-VIIA to G-VIIY
(16) 777-200ERs Trent 895-17 G-YMMA to G-YMMP

Does anyone know how the engines have compared to one another? It would seem to me that British Airways knows pretty well the areas that each engine succeed in and in which areas they come up short. Also, does BA operate certain engined 777s to certain destinations?

I know that BA originally operated 5 777-200s, but recently returned 2 of them. Why have they continued to hold onto the other 3?
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: Comparing BA's GE 777s And RR 777s.

Fri Feb 14, 2003 10:37 am

BA's Trent895-17 powered 772ERs generate 20,000lbs more thrust than its GE90-85B powered 772ERs and have longer range/higher MTOW as a result.

BA switched to RR mostly due to political pressure, but also because the GE90-94B was not yet in its full production swing.

The Trent895-17 is lightweight and supposedly possessing a superb throttle "reflex", in keeping with the Trent800 family. Its rather lackluster sales (BA and LY are the only customers), coupled with the GE90's exclusivity on the 777NGs, has recently allowed GE to take the title of preferred engine for the 777 family.

While I'm not privy to the exact reason the why Trent895 (along with the PW4098) have thus far failed to attract many customers in the 92,000lb+ thrust category... rumor has it that both engines lack the GE90's fuel efficiency and structural integrity when operated at the peak of their potential for extended periods*



*though by incredibly slim margins, as both engines have passed all ETOPS and reliability requirements for their general specifications.
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
gigneil
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RE: Comparing BA's GE 777s And RR 777s.

Fri Feb 14, 2003 11:28 am

One minor point, I think.

GE had refused to make a more powerful engine for the 772ER due to the GE90's relatively lackluster sales.

This is what made BA switch to RR, along with of course the political pressure.

When it became apparent that there were going to be heavier 777s of some kind (777X, etc) GE decided to press forward with the GE90-94B, upon which the GE90-115B is based.

Hey ConcordeBoy... if I decided I wanted an "A market" 777-300 with the GE90-94B, how long would it take Boeing and GE to certify it? Would GE even do it? For, lets say, 20 frames?

N
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: Comparing BA's GE 777s And RR 777s.

Fri Feb 14, 2003 12:07 pm

GE pitched a 773A package powered by the GE90-92B and a proposed GE90-98B to CX (who was then and somewhat still is: a hopeless slave to RR) as well as KE (who chose the wildly unpopular PW4098) and also CO (who decided against the 773 completely) but dropped it when all three airlines declined.

The buzz from the bees however is that GE plans to offer a similar conversion package to EK should they choose the 773ER (which is expected, but they supposedly want the GE90-115B certified for 5K-10K more lbs of thrust before ordering) for its 772ERs as well as 772/773As.
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
CX747
Topic Author
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RE: Comparing BA's GE 777s And RR 777s.

Fri Feb 14, 2003 1:11 pm

Does Boeing still call it the 777-200A? I thought the model designators were changed?

777-200
777-200ER
777-300
777-300ER

possibly 777-200LR
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
garuda
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RE: Comparing BA's GE 777s And RR 777s.

Fri Feb 14, 2003 1:46 pm

If I'm not mistaken, BA chose RR for their second batch of B777 order is related to the cancellation of some B747-400s with RB211 engines. BA chose RR Trents to avoid cancellation fees for the RB211s

JA
 
gigneil
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RE: Comparing BA's GE 777s And RR 777s.

Fri Feb 14, 2003 1:52 pm

Garuda- yes partially that's true.

But if GE had a GE90-94B available when BA wanted it, they probably would have gone with it.

Certainly in retrospect I bet they wish they had just gone for the -92B and shut up about it.

Concordeboy - So EK is going to re-engine all their existing planes with GE90-94Bs? Or a possible -98B? Their existing planes are all Trent 892 powered, despite the misnomer, they're 90k pounds. I'm sure the -94B will be more than adequate.

Heh maybe they'll drop the Trent 772Bs and go for CF6-80E1A3s for their 332s.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

Isn't re-engining a plane very costly?

N
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: Comparing BA's GE 777s And RR 777s.

Fri Feb 14, 2003 2:16 pm

CX747,
Boeing never really did (officially) refer to them as 777-200A... just that the planes were built for the "A" market (i.e. shorthaul, mass load) and the I.G.W planes (later called "-200ER") were built for the "B" market (i.e., longer range, higher MTOW).

Just F.Y.I.,
the 772LR is slated to re-enter full-scale production and marketing in late April/early May of this year.
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
GDB
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RE: Comparing BA's GE 777s And RR 777s.

Fri Feb 14, 2003 7:13 pm

While I'm not directly involved with 777's at BA, I know we did have a lot of teething problems with them for some years, more than usual even with a new airframe/engine.
R/R were picked as explained above (but not for any political pressure), the GE90 birds had load restrictions on certain routes.
The GE90 deal was not liked by many at BA, as part of it was the selling to GE of BA's Engine overhaul facility in Wales, since then we get a much worse service from them, probably due to te new owners laying experienced people off and others leaving.
(But when BA 'outsource' it always seems to lead to a poorer, more expensive service, that's the fault of those at BA who agreed contracts of course, and there are much worse examples within BA Engineering of poor outsourcing decisions, GE are one of the better ones believe me!)
It was seen as a shoddy deal, many of our people come from the airline industry, and were dismayed to see R/R snubbed, we have a good relationship going back with them over many years.
For a time, it looked like badly affecting R/R too, but they came back stronger than ever.

 
N79969
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RE: Comparing BA's GE 777s And RR 777s.

Fri Feb 14, 2003 10:56 pm

I read that early GE90 engines had problems with 'rubbing' that led to metal shavings in the fuel tanks. I think BA was the first carrier affected.
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: Comparing BA's GE 777s And RR 777s.

Sat Feb 15, 2003 12:49 am

(but not for any political pressure)

yeah, right  Laugh out loud
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
donder10
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RE: Comparing BA's GE 777s And RR 777s.

Sat Feb 15, 2003 12:58 am

BA switched to RR mostly due to political pressure, but also because the GE90-94B was not yet in its full production swing.

Actually it was mainly to do with issues on GE's side which Gigneil explains above.Free market UK is often different to 'free market' US,Concordeboy.
 
N79969
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RE: Comparing BA's GE 777s And RR 777s.

Sat Feb 15, 2003 1:04 am

I cannot fault BA with buying their 'hometown' engine.
 
dynkrisolo
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RE: Comparing BA's GE 777s And RR 777s.

Sat Feb 15, 2003 2:26 am

Everyone seems to have their own version of why BA switched to the Trent engine on the 777. Based on the sequence of events, I believe the following was the most likely scenario:

BA made the strategic move to maximize high-yield traffic around 1997 or 98. So, they wanted to cancel the remaining 744 orders then and switched them to the smaller 772ER. If they stayed with GE, BA would have faced with a hefty penalty on the RR engines that they ordered with the 744. RR was willing to waive the penalty if BA switched to the Trent. GE was unwilling to pick up the tab. GE saw no chance of winning the add-on order. So, they decided not to accommodate BA's request for an engine with a higher thrust rating. Less than a year later, Air France asked for a higher thrust engine, GE readily complied with the GE90-94B and AF's order was a much smaller order than BA's. In short, I believe the thrust thing was not a major factor, but an easy excuse for all the parties involved. No matter where you are, money is always a sensitive subject. That's why BA and the two engine companies avoided the subject. Politics is another sensitive subject. But I wasn't aware of any major political pressure being exerted on BA to switch to RR at that time. Also emember in the same month that BA ordered the 16 772ERs with the RR engine, they also converted 6 772ER options with the GE engine. If they were unhappy with the GE90, they could have easily allowed those options to lapsed. In another word, it would be unlikely that BA switched to the Trent because they were unhappy with the GE90.

Just my 2 cents!
 
GDB
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RE: Comparing BA's GE 777s And RR 777s.

Sat Feb 15, 2003 5:33 am

Well I've worked in BA Engineering for 15 years, and I remember managers admitting that they regretted buying GE, for not only technical reasons, they regretted selling off the Engine overhaul facility, all this way before the 1998 order.
 
raggi
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Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2000 4:34 am

RE: Comparing BA's GE 777s And RR 777s.

Sat Feb 15, 2003 7:32 am

Dynkrisolo, BA was contractedly obliged to take six new 777s with GEs. At least that`s what it says in my issue of FI from back then.


raggi
Stick & Rudder
 
dynkrisolo
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RE: Comparing BA's GE 777s And RR 777s.

Sat Feb 15, 2003 7:49 am

Raggi:

Options are options. No one can force BA to convert all the options. That's why they are called options. BA would lose some deposits if they didn't convert the options, but that would be a lot less than canceling firm orders.
 
CX747
Topic Author
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RE: Comparing BA's GE 777s And RR 777s.

Sat Feb 15, 2003 8:32 am

While I am not an inside source, here is what I remember about the British Airways Trent order. As others have stated, they cancelled their remaining order for 10-15 747-400s as they wanted less economy seats and more business pax on each flight. By cancelling the 747-400 order they were going to have to pay RR. Rather than pay RR, they opted to go with the Trent engine on their 777-200ER order. Also, from what I have read, one of the main reasons that BA went with GE for its original order was the promise by GE that it would by the engine maintenance facility.
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
GDB
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RE: Comparing BA's GE 777s And RR 777s.

Sat Feb 15, 2003 9:02 am

This options thing is a red herring, the PW engine was also evaluated.
If it was so certain that BA was to order R/R, why bother with all that?
We've cancelled enough options in the past, I don't recall us having to make some kind of reparations to engine makers.
Hey, what do I know, I only work there, I'm friends with the Olympus R/R rep, never heard him mention anything about it, in fact he expected GE to win again, for the sake of having a common engine across the 777 fleet as much as anything else.
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: Comparing BA's GE 777s And RR 777s.

Sat Feb 15, 2003 10:11 am

in fact he expected GE to win again

Assuming BA is to purchase the 777NGs (a rational assumption for the long term future)... then GE will  Big grin
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
dynkrisolo
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RE: Comparing BA's GE 777s And RR 777s.

Sat Feb 15, 2003 9:21 pm

GDB:

It wasn't an red herring because the canceled 744 orders were not options. They were firm orders. Canceling the engine orders on the 744 would involve heavy penalties. It's not a big surprise that PW engines were also evaluated. It is very common that all engine companies would submit bids even if they knew they absolutely had no chance.
 
aamd11
Posts: 863
Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2001 11:54 am

RE: Comparing BA's GE 777s And RR 777s.

Sat Feb 15, 2003 10:19 pm

Certainly in retrospect I bet they wish they had just gone for the -92B and shut up about it.

What makes you say that Gigneil?

A^A MD-11

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