G500
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Powering The 777X- Pratt & Rolls Against GE?

Tue Jul 17, 2012 11:50 am

Good read.

Looks like Pratt & Whitney (a unit of United Technologies) and Rolls Royce could join forces against General Electric to power the 777X.


part of the article:

The Engine Alliance was forged in an environment of financial exhaustion following the three-way dogfight in the early 1990s involving GE, Pratt and Rolls-Royce over the 777. But now, as engine makers once again face a potential three-way fight over a proposed new 777X derivative, could a potential new partnership be in the offing?

The intriguing possibility that Pratt and Rolls could build on their recently established agreement in the mid-thrust arena to form a new partnership aimed specifically at the 777X is not impossible, says Pratt & Whitney President David Hess. “I wouldn't rule it out. The relationship with Rolls-Royce continues to get better and better, and it's not beyond the realms of possibility. But it hasn't been decided and we'd have to pick an architecture—so right now on 777X we're going it alone.”


http://www.aviationweek.com/Article....e-xml/AW_07_16_2012_p24-475971.xml
 
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Stitch
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RE: Powering The 777X- Pratt & Rolls Against GE?

Tue Jul 17, 2012 2:45 pm

Three-way engine competitions on widebody projects just aren't feasible any more due to the high costs of entry and the (relatively) small market to fight over.

GE spent significantly more on the GE90 then Pratt did on the PW4000 and Rolls on the Trent 800 because they went "clean sheet". Unfortunately, because it was clean sheet, it had issues (fuel injector life was horrendous in the early builds) and the engine quickly fell out of favor compared to the PW4000 and Trent 800. If not for McNerney's gamble to secure sole-source on the LR777 program, the GE90 likely would have been a major commercial failure.

Could we see a 100k GTF? Pratt says they can do it and Rolls has been working on their own GTF program...

[Edited 2012-07-17 07:53:36]
 
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Polot
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RE: Powering The 777X- Pratt & Rolls Against GE?

Tue Jul 17, 2012 2:49 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 1):
Could we see a 100k Engine Alliance GTF? Pratt says they can do it and Rolls has been working on their own GTF program...

Remember that the Engine Alliance is between PW and GE. This would be a(nother) new joint venture between PW and RR.
 
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Stitch
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RE: Powering The 777X- Pratt & Rolls Against GE?

Tue Jul 17, 2012 2:53 pm

Quoting poLOT (Reply 2):
Remember that the Engine Alliance is between PW and GE. This would be a(nother) new joint venture between PW and RR.

Indeed. I have EA on the mind due to all the speculation it would be the way to get on the A350.   
 
AirbusA6
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RE: Powering The 777X- Pratt & Rolls Against GE?

Tue Jul 17, 2012 4:23 pm

A 100k GTF would be a massive gamble, so I Imagine Pratt are very much the outsiders in this race.

Anyway, weren't PW and RR suing the arse of each other a couple of years ago? Time heals eh...
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Stitch
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RE: Powering The 777X- Pratt & Rolls Against GE?

Tue Jul 17, 2012 4:29 pm

Quoting AirbusA6 (Reply 4):
A 100k GTF would be a massive gamble, so I Imagine Pratt are very much the outsiders in this race.


When Bob Saia, P&W's VP of Next Generation Product Family, was interviewed back in May 2009 on the IAG podcast, he noted the following:

"As the fans gets larger, the engine gets shorter relative to a conventional engine because they reduce engines stages along with their attendant discs and airfoils. So the bigger the engine, the lighter it gets and the less maintenance it needs compared to a conventional engine."

At the time, Pratt had found no thrust limitations and believed they could scale the GTF beyond 100,000 lbs with a fan diameter of 133-138".



Quoting AirbusA6 (Reply 4):
Anyway, weren't PW and RR suing the arse of each other a couple of years ago? Time heals eh...

I believe Pratt buying out Rolls' stake in International Aero Engines at least thawed relations between the two.
 
sunrisevalley
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RE: Powering The 777X- Pratt & Rolls Against GE?

Tue Jul 17, 2012 4:44 pm

Quoting AirbusA6 (Reply 4):
Anyway, weren't PW and RR suing the arse of each other a couple of years ago? Time heals eh...

And necessity is the mother of invention   

Both have to move forward, their future in the business depends on it. So far as GE is concerned it has very stringent ROI parameters. They have many parts to their business each competing for finite capital resources. They are only in the aircraft engine business long term if it can cover it's cost of capital plus some.
 
AirbusA6
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RE: Powering The 777X- Pratt & Rolls Against GE?

Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:05 pm

Quoting sunrisevalley (Reply 6):
Quoting AirbusA6 (Reply 4):Anyway, weren't PW and RR suing the arse of each other a couple of years ago? Time heals eh...
And necessity is the mother of invention

Both have to move forward, their future in the business depends on it. So far as GE is concerned it has very stringent ROI parameters. They have many parts to their business each competing for finite capital resources. They are only in the aircraft engine business long term if it can cover it's cost of capital plus some.

But then RR already has a new generation engine of a similar size in development, the Trent XWB with 97k thrust on trhe A350-1000, whereas Pratt haven't developed anything by itself in that size since the ill fated PW4098 in the late 90s...

And RR has Pratt's cash from selling it's stake in IAE!
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sunrisevalley
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RE: Powering The 777X- Pratt & Rolls Against GE?

Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:23 pm

Quoting AirbusA6 (Reply 7):
But then RR already has a new generation engine of a similar size in development, the Trent XWB with 97k thrust on trhe A350-1000, whereas Pratt haven't developed anything by itself in that size since the ill fated PW4098 in the late 90s...

And RR has Pratt's cash from selling it's stake in IAE!

All so true ! To me any alliance beween Rolls and Pratt suggests that the GTF has legs going forward and Rolls wants to have a dog in as many races as they can.
 
ferpe
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RE: Powering The 777X- Pratt & Rolls Against GE?

Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:12 pm

I don't quite understand what it would give RR. Right now GE and RR have divided the over 40klbf market between them and they have both healthy stakes in good programs with high numbers of engines (GE 777-787, RR 787-350). Why would RR want to share the pie (the only they have) with PW? Only if Boeing told them they prefer the PW alternative would they move but does B dare to take such a risk? I don't think so, RR has a very solid proposal with a 60:1 pressure ratio, fresh of the TXWB which has a very successful compressor design (it seems) which they are building on and Boeing needs maximum one alternative to GE.

GE and RR have proven themselves on the last very challenging Boeing program (787), I think they will get the nod on this one as well.

The GTF is not proven in this size class and I remember Lightsaber saying the gearbox has issues with cooling at these sizes. I am skeptical PW will be let in on these projects until they have proven themselves on the SAs.
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DocLightning
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RE: Powering The 777X- Pratt & Rolls Against GE?

Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:29 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 1):
Three-way engine competitions on widebody projects just aren't feasible any more due to the high costs of entry and the (relatively) small market to fight over.

Which I find interesting. The first widebodies went into service about 40 years ago. GE, PW, and RR all competed on these projects, especially the later variants introduced in the 80's/90's. Certainly, the technological barriers were if anything even higher back then because the technology was less mature. Furthermore, while the widebody market will always be relatively smaller than the narrowbody market at any given time, the widebody market today must be quite a bit larger than the market in past decades.

If anything, I find it surprising that there were three major players in the past, but that there are only two in the present market. I wonder what changed? Is there some reason why R&D costs are relatively higher these days as opposed to in the past?
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G500
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RE: Powering The 777X- Pratt & Rolls Against GE?

Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:14 pm

Quoting ferpe (Reply 9):
Why would RR want to share the pie (the only they have) with PW?

I think RR feels PW can help them beat GE with the 777X bid... Rolls would rather "share the pie" with PW rather than see GE take the whole pie.
 
ChicagoFlyer
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RE: Powering The 777X- Pratt & Rolls Against GE?

Wed Jul 18, 2012 2:38 am

Lightsaber would be best qualified to comment on this, but in the most general sense there are certainly possible advantages to developing a new architecture on a narrowbody engine and scaling it up for large fans/higher thrust. Basically, on a widebody you have more space to work with and less constraints. I am talking the GTF, of course.

In a relative sense, it may require a large effort on the part of GE to make a mini-GeNX (i.e. LEAP-X) work than for Pratt to scale up the GTF. "May" of course is the key word. If/when Boeing launches 777X, I certainly hope there will be competition, and it would not just be given to GE.
 
JoeCanuck
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RE: Powering The 777X- Pratt & Rolls Against GE?

Wed Jul 18, 2012 4:32 am

The GTF really has been a game changer. It's the first major configuration change in turbofans in a very long time. Pratt is very bullish on the capabilities of the gearbox's ability to power very large engines. It will be very interesting what they can do at 100Kish.

It will be even more interesting if they can fit the gearbox to the LPT of a triple spool Trent.
What the...?
 
Aircellist
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RE: Powering The 777X- Pratt & Rolls Against GE?

Wed Jul 18, 2012 4:50 am

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 13):
It will be even more interesting if they can fit the gearbox to the LPT of a triple spool Trent.

What would that give, exactly? (layman's, not loaded, question)
"When I find out I was wrong, I change my mind. What do you do?" -attributed to John Maynard Keynes
 
LH707330
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RE: Powering The 777X- Pratt & Rolls Against GE?

Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:03 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 10):
The first widebodies went into service about 40 years ago. GE, PW, and RR all competed on these projects, especially the later variants introduced in the 80's/90's. Certainly, the technological barriers were if anything even higher back then because the technology was less mature.

There were also more platforms to put them on. Initially, each manufacturer also had an exclusive market: Pratt had the 747-100, GE had the DC10-10, and RR the L1011. After that, they adapted their engines to the other planes and developed them moving forward. It helped that the 767, A300, and 747 had similar thrust requirements, which kept a common market segment. well into the 90s. After that, Rolls going clean-sheet on the A330 and GE on the 777, the generational changes became more lopsided....
 
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RayChuang
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RE: Powering The 777X- Pratt & Rolls Against GE?

Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:17 am

I wonder is Rolls-Royce dusting off the research they did with the Trent 8104 test engine (one of the engines proposed at the time for what became the 777-200LR and 777-300ER) and combining technology from the Trent XWB engine, offering a new Trent engine rated as high as 120,000 lb. thrust for a 777X model that will replace the 777-300ER.
 
ferpe
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RE: Powering The 777X- Pratt & Rolls Against GE?

Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:29 am

Quoting g500 (Reply 11):
I think RR feels PW can help them beat GE with the 777X bid... Rolls would rather "share the pie" with PW rather than see GE take the whole pie.

The decision to go exclusive with GE for the 77W/LR is old. Since then Boeing have contracted GE and RR for the next project (787). To my knowledge that is not a decision Boeing regrets, it has served them well. If the 777X program can accommodate engine competition I don't see why RR need PW, then need to establish that for non SA project the players are named GE and RR. RR need all the margin they can get on those large engines to keep their technology development going. The triple spool and GTF concept competes in terms of what is the smartest idea for such an engine, if RR concedes to GTF they have effectively said their last 40 years of development was a mistake and would hand PW the lead for this market. I don't see that happening, not now.
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JoeCanuck
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RE: Powering The 777X- Pratt & Rolls Against GE?

Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:59 am

Quoting Aircellist (Reply 14):
What would that give, exactly? (layman's, not loaded, question)

Actually, I'm wondering the same thing but, to me, it seems the logical way to use a gearbox on a big RR engine. Whether or not that's what they might try is beyond me.
What the...?