skaggs
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American Super 80 Fleet Converted To RR Tay?

Mon Nov 22, 2004 3:15 pm

I have it on pretty good account that AA is seriously considering converting their entire MD-80 fleet to a far more fuel efficient version on the Rolls Royce Tay.....The predicted payoff in fuel savings would be less than 3 years and the converted A/C would be more efficient than a 737NG.

Anyone else heard this rumor?

Mike

http://www.mikeskaggs.com/



[Edited 2004-11-22 07:18:35]
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yyz717
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RE: American Super 80 Fleet Converted To RR Tay?

Mon Nov 22, 2004 3:29 pm

Is the pay back based on the current US$50+/barrel of oil? If so, does anyone (let alone AA) have confidence in fuel forecasts? Fuel price estimates have a HUGE impact on the ROI calculation.

More importantly, how will a RR Tay M80 compare to the 738 in terms of efficiency including the eventual amortized replacement cost? IE, even a re-engined M80 will still need replacing before the 738 fleet since the airframe will still be older.

Im sure Boeing would not be pleased with a Tay M80, so if the numbers look good, look for some wheeling and deadling on a massive 738 order!


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skaggs
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RE: American Super 80 Fleet Converted To RR Tay?

Mon Nov 22, 2004 3:33 pm

I also hear that American is 'creatively' playing both sides. Evidently P&W is giving them some prety sweet deals on parts while Im sure RR is pulling out all the stops to re-engine 300 some odd aircraft.

Mike

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northstardc4m
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RE: American Super 80 Fleet Converted To RR Tay?

Mon Nov 22, 2004 3:36 pm

Im suprised RR is pushing the tay for this...

The tay is older technology, basically a Spey core with a new fan and combustor.

Seems to me the BR71x family would be a better choice? Especially since AA has retired its Tay powered F100s?
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N1120A
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RE: American Super 80 Fleet Converted To RR Tay?

Mon Nov 22, 2004 3:37 pm

Well, the MD-80 probably is more efficient right now than the 738, as it is lighter, but does not have the capability with cargo, speed or range. A Tay conversion would do them well though, maybe even allow an MD-83 to do close to Transcons. I honestly don't see Boeing as getting too upset, as they still make money on the support of MD-80s, and they have to understand that 334 aircraft are not going anywhere any time soon.
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skaggs
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RE: American Super 80 Fleet Converted To RR Tay?

Mon Nov 22, 2004 3:42 pm

Noth Star,
You may be right...My AA pilot friend and I speculated Tay because that is all we know.....You are probably right....Heck, my Dad flew RR Spey Engined F-4 Phantoms as a test pilot back in the late 60's. Surely they have a new design......Spey/Tey is like the ford mustand chassis.....Old, but still works...


Mike

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wjcandee
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RE: American Super 80 Fleet Converted To RR Tay?

Mon Nov 22, 2004 3:45 pm

Interesting rumour, but...

(1) Fuel prices are on the way back down.

(2) AA would/should be looking to cut capital costs as much as possible at the moment.

I don't think that this is likely to be happening any time soon. I am also suspicious about the suggestion of the Tay. It was a good replacement on the 727, but why not go for more modern technology like the engine on the MD90 or the 717?

All the best,

Bill
 
skaggs
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RE: American Super 80 Fleet Converted To RR Tay?

Mon Nov 22, 2004 3:47 pm

I will revamp my rumor to a retrofit of a RR plant of some type.....But definetly Rolls Royce.

Mike

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flyf15
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RE: American Super 80 Fleet Converted To RR Tay?

Mon Nov 22, 2004 3:48 pm

Seems like a V2500 or BR71x would be a good choice...the V2500 is on the MD-90 and the BR71x on the 717. Although not the same aircraft, it seems like there would be a lot of general knowledge that could go back and forth, especially with thhe V2500.
 
N1120A
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RE: American Super 80 Fleet Converted To RR Tay?

Mon Nov 22, 2004 3:51 pm

>I don't think that this is likely to be happening any time soon. I am also suspicious about the suggestion of the Tay. It was a good replacement on the 727, but why not go for more modern technology like the engine on the MD90 or the 717?<

The MD-80 itself is not built for a larger engine. One of the reasons for the MD-90s failure is that it was a bit overengined with the IAE V2500. While the BR-715, if they could find a way to integrate it onto the MD-80, would be in the right power range and very efficient, it would be a lot more expensive than the RR Tay. The Tay and the PW's on the MD-80 are very similarly designed engines, with similar profiles. Remember, the 727 and the MD-80 have the same engine on them to start with, so the Tay is proven to work
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Spacepope
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RE: American Super 80 Fleet Converted To RR Tay?

Mon Nov 22, 2004 4:07 pm

The MD-80 and 727 do not have the same engines. The MD-80 has JT8D-200s, the 727 has JT8D-15/17s at best (not counting the re-engined ones with -200 series outboard engines). The only models re-engined with Tays were the old JT8D-5/7 powered 721s.

Can the Tay actually put out the power that an MD-80 needs? We're talking in the 20,000 pound thrust range. The most the 727 ever had to put out was around 14,000 each engine.
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bigphilnyc
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RE: American Super 80 Fleet Converted To RR Tay?

Mon Nov 22, 2004 4:41 pm

uhhh.... what's a tay?
Phil Derner Jr.
 
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RE: American Super 80 Fleet Converted To RR Tay?

Mon Nov 22, 2004 5:02 pm

Well, the Tay 651 on the 721 puts out 15,400 pounds. The MD-81, which would likely be first for conversion, puts out 18,500, while the other MD-80 series put out an even 20,000. I am thinking that RR already has a way to make the Tay put out the thrust needed, or AA would not be taking any interest. Also, they already have Tay trained mechanics from the F100 that they just retired and they lean toward RR as their engine supplier
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broke
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RE: American Super 80 Fleet Converted To RR Tay?

Tue Nov 23, 2004 12:08 am

An airline that I worked for looked into converting their DC-9's from JT8D's to Tay's in order to meet stage 3 noise requirements back in the late 1980's.
The engine mount spacing is considerable different between the two engine families requiring an extensive structural modification with a resultant weight increase. The cost of the modification would have been over $20M. In addition, the calculated coast down performance of the airplane with an engine out would have been worse with the Tay and would have prevented the Tay DC-9 from operating over the higher portions of the Rockies.

I don't think that there is a version of the Tay available with the thrust of the JT8D-200's that American uses on their MD-82's.
 
JeffDCA
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RE: American Super 80 Fleet Converted To RR Tay?

Tue Nov 23, 2004 12:29 am

The tay is older technology, basically a Spey core with a new fan and combustor.

You are having a laugh right? The Tay 611-8C is far from 'older technology'.

Cheers,

Jeff
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RayChuang
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RE: American Super 80 Fleet Converted To RR Tay?

Tue Nov 23, 2004 1:51 am

I think AA--who likes their Super 80 fleet--is seriously looking at buying either an uprated derivative of the Rolls-Royce Deutschland BR715 (probably designated BR720) rated at around 24,000 lb. thrust or buy the Pratt & Whitney PW6024 engine to update their fleet. We're talking a possible 1,000-plus engine order, something that either Rolls-Royce or Pratt & Whitney definitely wants.

With the new engines, the AA S80 fleet could fly till 2020.
 
CaptOveur
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RE: American Super 80 Fleet Converted To RR Tay?

Tue Nov 23, 2004 7:22 am

For starters, payback period is a bad way of making budgeting decisions, but people still do it... often

Secondly, AA is not all that financially healthy so they are going to spend how many millions per almost fully depreciated airframe to save how much? And they have how many MD-80s? almost 300 if memory serves (I wanna say 283, but won't swear to it).

Yes it seems like a good idea on the surface but this really sounds like a case of spending dollars to save dimes.

Wouldn't there also be certification costs? Someone slap me or something but I don't recall ever seeing a Tay powered MD-80.
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northstardc4m
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RE: American Super 80 Fleet Converted To RR Tay?

Tue Nov 23, 2004 7:25 am

There would need to be an Supplemental Type Certificate application and testing yes.

I believe though it wouldnt take more than about 200 hours of test flying to certify it, maybe less... depends if they want to make any modifications beyond the engines (like upgrading the avionics).
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Allessandro
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RE: American Super 80 Fleet Converted To RR Tay?

Tue Nov 23, 2004 7:52 am

I can understand why it could be the Tay rather than the V2500 or the BR71x. The latest two are, to my knowledge, equiped with FADEC system which require huge redesign of the engine controls in the cockpit while the Tay 611 (not the -8C model which is also equipped with a FADEC), Tay 620, Tay 650 and Tay 651 are fully mechanically controlled aircraft. This would make the installation of newer engines on the MD's much easier. Introducing a FADEC controlled engine on a mature airframe and integrating the engine controls into the aircraft systems properly is very expensive
 
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yyz717
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RE: American Super 80 Fleet Converted To RR Tay?

Tue Nov 23, 2004 7:59 am

For starters, payback period is a bad way of making budgeting decisions, but people still do it... often

Mmm...depends. Used in conjunction with ROI, it can be an effective measure for allocating capital. The best payback methods are using multiple or staggered paybacks for each project for comparison and then ranking them.

Secondly, AA is not all that financially healthy so they are going to spend how many millions per almost fully depreciated airframe to save how much? And they have how many MD-80s?

Might be cheaper than a massive 738 order.

The thing is, AA needs to address the M80 replacement issue NOW. Even replacing 30 MD80's a year (1 every 8-9 work days) will still take 11-12 years to occur. Hence, the MD80 will remain in the AA fleet until at least 2016 I predict.

AA should be taking delivery of 18-36 738's per year whatever their financial situation just to keep the fleet age young.

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DfwRevolution
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RE: American Super 80 Fleet Converted To RR Tay?

Tue Nov 23, 2004 8:00 am

Secondly, AA is not all that financially healthy so they are going to spend how many millions per almost fully depreciated airframe to save how much? And they have how many MD-80s? almost 300 if memory serves (I wanna say 283, but won't swear to it).

We've seen the amazing durability of the DC-9s at NWA... and they have zero plans of retiring their fleet before 2010. The MD-80 features many of the same structural construction techniques, like the interlocking-J rivet, and likely have the same lifespan. NWA rennovated their completly depreciated DC-9s when they were 30+ years old in 1998, adding new cabins and noise supressors.

This was a very good decision on NWs part as the -9 forms the backbone of their domestic fleet, there are simply too many to replace given current market conditions. Ditto for AA, the MD-80s can't be replaced in mass for another 15 years, so they must find ways to keep them economical.

Interesting rumour, but... AA would/should be looking to cut capital costs as much as possible at the moment....Fuel prices are on the way back down.

A MD-80 re-engine would likely be a move to cut capital cost. Replacing all ~275 MD-80s in mass would cost roughly 14 billion dollars, a MD-80 refit would cost a fraction of this.

And even if fuel prices dropped to 35 dollars a barrel, every opportunity to reduce fuel consumption in a fleet of 275 aircraft should be taken. Take a 2% fuel savings and multiply it by 275.... not a insignifcant number by any means..

Im sure Boeing would not be pleased with a Tay M80, so if the numbers look good, look for some wheeling and deadling on a massive 738 order!

Well it is obvious they won't be ordering any new aircraft to replace the MD-80s, might as well make some $$ on the re-engine package. I'd imagine DL might be interested as well...

Has the CFM56-7 been considered? I'd think commonality with the 737-800 powerplant would be a plus. The -7B19/20/22 all offer simmilar thrust to the engines already mentioned...
 
D950
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RE: American Super 80 Fleet Converted To RR Tay?

Tue Nov 23, 2004 8:03 am

Perhaps they are looking to expand the RR relationship, with an eye on the 717 down the road, and engine commonality (RR) with the mechanics union in mind??
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N1120A
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RE: American Super 80 Fleet Converted To RR Tay?

Tue Nov 23, 2004 8:27 am

>Perhaps they are looking to expand the RR relationship, with an eye on the 717 down the road, and engine commonality (RR) with the mechanics union in mind?? <

Well, they got rid of the 717s they got from TW after the merger, in favor of keeping F100s that they got rid of 2 years later anyway. Besides, their relationship with RR is strong, with Trent powered 777s, and RB211 powered 757s (except the ex-TW ones). Then again, the hole in their service right now is a 100 seater and the 717 would serve them well

Again, isn't the CFM56-7 FADEC controlled. If it is, then you would have the same problems integrating it as you would the BR715-A1 or C1, as well as the IAE V2500. And still, if it can be had in a mechanical version, you would have to beef up the mounting structure and deal with the extra weight of the large turbofan
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yyz717
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RE: American Super 80 Fleet Converted To RR Tay?

Tue Nov 23, 2004 8:34 am

Then again, the hole in their service right now is a 100 seater and the 717 would serve them well

An AA insider on another thread reported that it is AA's intent to add a 100-seater to the mainline fleet again. No doubt some of the M80 fleet is serving former F100 routes and are perhaps too large for those routes.
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COAMiG29
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RE: American Super 80 Fleet Converted To RR Tay?

Tue Nov 23, 2004 8:49 am

why did aa retire the f100s and not the md 80s are the md80s really that much better to make up for the age difference? (the f100s did have tay engines so it would have saved money to not have to convert)
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DfwRevolution
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RE: American Super 80 Fleet Converted To RR Tay?

Tue Nov 23, 2004 8:54 am

why did aa retire the f100s and not the md 80s are the md80s really that much better to make up for the age difference? (the f100s did have tay engines so it would have saved money to not have to convert)

Because there are somewhere between 275-325 MD-80s in AA's fleet. These aircraft form the backbone of AA's domestic fleet... without them AA just couldn't function.

The F100s were a much smaller fleet, so AA eliminated them and replaced them with fewer frequencies on the MD-80. This is probably better than modernizing the F100s or going to the 717 IMO.
 
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RE: American Super 80 Fleet Converted To RR Tay?

Tue Nov 23, 2004 9:00 am

>This is probably better than modernizing the F100s or going to the 717 IMO.<

From what AA people have said, they are regretting the short-sightedness in not keeping the 717s. I don't think they saw how big the market would be for used F100s, or just how efficient the 717 would be. As part of the TW deal, they got the 717s, and should have probably negotiated a larger purchase (50 plus what they had would have covered the F100s) in combination with reduction in lease rates, while getting a cash infusion from selling the F100s.
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Spacepope
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RE: American Super 80 Fleet Converted To RR Tay?

Tue Nov 23, 2004 9:16 am

Also don't forget that if stricter noise requirements go into effect, a BR-7XX engined aircraft would have far fewer payload/range/time restrictions on it as compared to a JT8D-200 series. Hushkitting hasn't quite gotten the expected results. In fact, they could probably see performance increases over hushkitted airframes, as those may have to use reduced thrust to meet more stringent requirements.

This could also be a way to finally retire the Pratt powerplants from their fleet.

The re-engined aircraft would also help increase their resale value when they are finally retired.

Finally, this would ensure engine commonality if AA were to re-order the 717 as their 100-seater. In a strange way, it would put the two types into a common family.
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RE: American Super 80 Fleet Converted To RR Tay?

Tue Nov 23, 2004 9:21 am

I would think they would re-engine the S80 with the BR715-C1-30 putting out 21,000 lbs of thrust each... That would be 42,000 fuel-efficient pounds of thrust total. and the engines would be quieter.
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COAMiG29
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RE: American Super 80 Fleet Converted To RR Tay?

Tue Nov 23, 2004 9:24 am

This could also be a way to finally retire the Pratt powerplants from their fleet.

Does AA have a problem with prat or are RR just better?
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N1120A
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RE: American Super 80 Fleet Converted To RR Tay?

Tue Nov 23, 2004 9:33 am

>I would think they would re-engine the S80 with the BR715-C1-30 putting out 21,000 lbs of thrust each... That would be 42,000 fuel-efficient pounds of thrust total. and the engines would be quieter<

As stated before, AA would have to completely change the engine management systems in order to incorporate a FADEC controled engine like the BR715. If the change over was so easy, many airlines would have converted already, especially ones like Alaska who have problems with MD-80 engines up in Alaska and have to keep them on the southern part of the network because of it.

>This could also be a way to finally retire the Pratt powerplants from their fleet.<

They would still have the EX-TWA 757s, which are Pratt powered, and needed in their system.

>Does AA have a problem with prat or are RR just better?<

AA has shown a major preference toward RR engines, and RR has rewarded that. Also, in this case, the very old Pratt design would be bettered upon by a Tay conversion, as that is a much newer power plant (the JT9D is 40 years old).
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srbmod
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RE: American Super 80 Fleet Converted To RR Tay?

Tue Nov 23, 2004 10:08 am

This idea has been floating around for a few years, there's just hadn't been too much interest in it. Rolls Royce could really use the boost to the BR715 program, because outside of the BR-715s used on the 717, no other a/c uses it. Several bizjets (and the new versions of the Nimrod) use the BR-710 version of the engine. With the price of hushkits being upwards of $1 million apiece (this was for making Stage II engines Stage III compliant, the price for hushkits to make older Stage III engines compliant to Stage IV will probably be just as expensive or more), we're talking about $2+ million an a/c. A pair of brand new BR-715s isn't too much more than that, and would still probably meet the next few noise suppression stages (They already meet the Stage IV regs that go into effect in 2006).
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: American Super 80 Fleet Converted To RR Tay?

Tue Nov 23, 2004 10:55 am

Just wondering... but is there any estimate to how much a typical re-engine program cost? For example, how much were the 727 re-engines per aircraft?
 
Okie
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RE: American Super 80 Fleet Converted To RR Tay?

Tue Nov 23, 2004 11:11 am

Rollers on a MD-80 - Most likely just a phishing trip.

I am sure that AA/AMR is constantly looking at many alternatives for anything. This is common practice with any industry that I know of to see what gets pulled in what changes in technology and cost have occurred in order to make good business decisions. The main reason is to establish correct data and costs.

A person/company/corporation without DATA only has an opinion.

Okie

 
ckfred
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RE: American Super 80 Fleet Converted To RR Tay?

Tue Nov 23, 2004 2:28 pm

In general, the idea of putting new engines on the MD-80 fleet makes sense, but I think AA has done something rather shortsighted by deferring the 737-800 deliveries until 2010.

The original group of MD-80s is nearly 22 years old. According to a friend of mine who flies for AA, the MD-80 undergoes C-Checks more frequently than other aircraft. Apparently, this is the maintenance schedule that McDonnell Douglas created for AA. One of the reasons that AA kept the 727 for so long, despite the lower efficiency and the third pilot, is that there was a greater time interval between C-Checks.

With the increasing age of the airframe, C-Checks will become more intensive and expensive. If I were running AA, I would look at retiring the oldest 20 to 50 MD-80s with 737-800s, while replacing the engines on the rest of the fleet.

My friend also tells me that Gerard Arpey, AA's CEO has said that AA cannot go on indefinitely without a 100-seat aircraft. While retiring the F100s has saved AA money, trying to replace them in the schedule with ERJs, CRJs, MD-80s, and 737-800s has been very difficult.

If AA replaced the JT8Ds with BR715s, then ordering 717s would make a lot of sense. Not only would there be commonality, but AA might be able to have pilots checked out on the 717 and the MD-80.
 
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RayChuang
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RE: American Super 80 Fleet Converted To RR Tay?

Wed Nov 24, 2004 1:08 am

I think AA is probably quietly (pun not intended) talking with Rolls-Royce and Boeing about the possibility of re-engining their their Super 80 fleet with an uprated version of the Rolls-Royce Deutschland BR715 engine (it'll probably be called BR720, with a thrust rating of 24,000 lb. thrust). With the possibility of as many as 1,000 engines being ordered for this upgrade, R-R would be more than happy to develop this engine, since it would allow AA to keep their S80 fleet flying till at least 2020.
 
N1120A
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RE: American Super 80 Fleet Converted To RR Tay?

Wed Nov 24, 2004 1:30 am

>I think AA is probably quietly (pun not intended) talking with Rolls-Royce and Boeing about the possibility of re-engining their their Super 80 fleet with an uprated version of the Rolls-Royce Deutschland BR715 engine (it'll probably be called BR720, with a thrust rating of 24,000 lb. thrust). With the possibility of as many as 1,000 engines being ordered for this upgrade, R-R would be more than happy to develop this engine, since it would allow AA to keep their S80 fleet flying till at least 2020.<

Why would they need to uprate the engine when the BR715-C1 already puts out 21,000 pounds, 1,000 more than the JT8D-219s on the MD-83, and the BR715-A1 puts out the same 18,500 as the JT8D-217s. Even if they use all BR715-C1s, that is an improvement of power and efficiency on every airplane. RR does not need to uprate the engine.
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DIA
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RE: American Super 80 Fleet Converted To RR Tay?

Wed Nov 24, 2004 1:54 am

Here's a Tay 651. The newer engine will probably look awfully close to this one. Any engine expert can, and hopefully will, correct/guide this opinion to the proper likeness. . .


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elwood64151
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RE: American Super 80 Fleet Converted To RR Tay?

Wed Nov 24, 2004 2:01 am

(2) AA would/should be looking to cut capital costs as much as possible at the moment.

Absolutely true, however there is nothing keeping fuel costs from rising again when demand hits next summer. Fuel is a cyclical comodity, and September through March its prices are generally depressed while April through August they are up again. So don't be too surprised if we see $50 a barrell next summer.

AA surely has to be looking at their (comparatively) fuel-hungry MD-80s and must see the need for a stop-gap measure that will reduce fuel costs.

For starters, payback period is a bad way of making budgeting decisions, but people still do it... often

Depends on the business decision. For a commodity like fuel, you're probably right. However, in other areas it can be the make-or-break.

Secondly, AA is not all that financially healthy so they are going to spend how many millions per almost fully depreciated airframe to save how much? And they have how many MD-80s? almost 300 if memory serves (I wanna say 283, but won't swear to it).

AA has to find a way to cut their costs. They've already taken a huge bite out of salaries, so they're looking at other ways. Exchanging "fully depreciated airframe[s]" for 738s is not an option, especially considering the shaky finances you mentioned. So they make do with a stop-gap measure until they are stable and can order those 738s (or 713s, or A319/20s, or whatever).

Has the CFM56-7 been considered?

Wasn't that considered once and the engines were found to be too heavy? I may be remembering incorrectly...

Well, they got rid of the 717s they got from TW after the merger

Because the lease rates were too godd@mned high. Why do people keep forgetting that? AA loved those little birds but couldn't operate them profitably at TW lease rates.

why did aa retire the f100s and not the md 80s are the md80s really that much better to make up for the age difference? (the f100s did have tay engines so it would have saved money to not have to convert)

Because there are somewhere between 275-325 MD-80s in AA's fleet. These aircraft form the backbone of AA's domestic fleet... without them AA just couldn't function.


I understand that F100s are also a biotch to do mechanical work on, while MD-80s have easy-access panels and other little amenities.

A pair of brand new BR-715s isn't too much more than that, and would still probably meet the next few noise suppression stages (They already meet the Stage IV regs that go into effect in 2006).

Yes, but there would be some additional structural changes, and perhaps flight control changes as well. This would add some cost to re-engining the aircraft. However, it may be a better, longer-term option.

Why would they need to uprate the engine when the BR715-C1 already puts out 21,000 pounds, 1,000 more than the JT8D-219s on the MD-83, and the BR715-A1 puts out the same 18,500 as the JT8D-217s. Even if they use all BR715-C1s, that is an improvement of power and efficiency on every airplane. RR does not need to uprate the engine.

Perhaps the BR720s could use mechanical control systems... I don't know why they would uprate the engine thrust except to get better short-field and hot-and-high performance....
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N1120A
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RE: American Super 80 Fleet Converted To RR Tay?

Wed Nov 24, 2004 2:07 am

>Perhaps the BR720s could use mechanical control systems... I don't know why they would uprate the engine thrust except to get better short-field and hot-and-high performance....<

And considering that the MD-80 is a great hot and high plane and can take off from short fields already, that is not a major reason.

I was just thinking, if AA were to do an avionics upgrade at the same time as putting new engines on, perhaps they could install a better onboard computer to handle FADEC controls on the engines. Having fewer mechanical parts would probably save them on MX.
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DfwRevolution
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RE: American Super 80 Fleet Converted To RR Tay?

Wed Nov 24, 2004 6:01 am

I was just thinking, if AA were to do an avionics upgrade at the same time as putting new engines on, perhaps they could install a better onboard computer to handle FADEC controls on the engines. Having fewer mechanical parts would probably save them on MX.


Boeing has done avionics ugrades for MD aircraft before, converting DC-10s to MD-11 sytle cockpits. I would think an avionics and engine upgrade might be stretching what is economically feasable, but if AA were somewhat serious about the 717, direct engine and cockpit commonality would be a plus.

It all boils down to, how long can these aircraft fly. If the answer is another 15 years, I can't imagine such an upgrade wouldn't be profitable.

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