Topic Author
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RB211 Vs GE

Fri Oct 19, 2001 6:27 am

What are the differences in engines between, for a 747 for example, an RB211 like Qantas or British Airways, and a GE engine such as Virgin Atlantic or United?

My posts/replies are strictly my opinion and not that of any company, organization, or Southwest Airlines.
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RE: RB211 Vs GE

Fri Oct 19, 2001 9:26 am

The fundamental difference between the Roller and the GE is the triple spool design used by Rolls over the twin spool of the GE. The RR therefore displays N1, N2 and N3.
The first stage fan of the RB211-524G onwards is also very different, with wide chord stand alone blades. The GE has many more blades and a support ring half way along the blades.
The only other major difference (besides cowl appearance) is in the fire extinguishing system. The Rolls have two bottles per engine, the GE has two per wing.
Just a brief outline for you!
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RE: RB211 Vs GE

Fri Oct 19, 2001 10:21 am

BTW, United uses PW4000s, not GE CF6s
Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
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RE: RB211 Vs GE

Fri Oct 19, 2001 8:09 pm

Rolls Royce engines spin clockwise, GE spin anticlockwise.

Could someone please explain why that is?

I understand that GE engines are heavier, but more fuel efficient than RR. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

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RE: RB211 Vs GE

Fri Oct 19, 2001 9:37 pm

The RR is more efficient; rather than the other way around.
The triple spool system means that the compressor (7000rpm), turbine (10,000rpm) and front induction fan (3000rpm) can run closer to their optimal efficiency speeds making them in general more efficient overall.

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RE: RB211 Vs GE

Fri Oct 19, 2001 10:00 pm

It is the same with piston engines and turboprops in the the rest of the world had their spin clockwise while the US is counter clockwise. I don't know why, but that's the way thinga go.
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RE: RB211 Vs GE

Fri Oct 19, 2001 11:35 pm

Why is the CF6 so much more popular than the RB211 if the latter is more efficient?

Thanks in advance
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RE: RB211 Vs GE

Sat Oct 20, 2001 3:19 am

The RB211 had a tricky start, but became a fine engine. But the delay in making a more powerful version, to compete with the CF6-50, hit the Tristar. Many previous non-Douglas airlines took DC-10's, so many also took CF-6 powered 747's when they became available.
An R/R powered DC-10 was offered to BA in the mid-1970s, but they stuck with the L1011.
But it's not all been good for GE, in the early days of the 757 programme GE offered a CF-6 version, rather like the RB211-535 developed from the older RB211's.
Only Air Florida ordered a few, then cancelled, GE cancelled development before the 757 flew, so the R/R engine cleaned up, apart from a few big US majors taking PW2037s.
Today, despite today's job cuts, R/R are second to GE in market share.
The Trent has a great portfolio of customers, and R/R has the best all-round range of aircraft flying their engines for over 30 years.
GE's advantage today is that it is part of a bigger industrial group, and do good deals with leasing companies. R/R cars were sold off in 1971.


RE: RB211 Vs GE

Sat Oct 20, 2001 9:50 am

I agree that the RR RB211 is a great engine, I flew on an L-1011-500 last month with ATA and I loved how quiet and powerful the three 50,000lb thrust engines were on takeoff and climb.
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RE: RB211 Vs GE

Sat Oct 20, 2001 12:32 pm

I'll think you'll find the later CF6's have a better fuel burn than the
equivalent RR model. Have a look at the RR web site. The info for
all large engine types only specifies "competitive" fuel burn not the



RE: RB211 Vs GE

Sun Oct 21, 2001 6:03 pm

The RB211 has had better reliability vs. the GE CF6. The GE CF6 has had some recent incidents involving uncontained engine failures where the fan blades came apart.
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RE: RB211 Vs GE

Wed Oct 24, 2001 11:46 pm

So Covert your contribution to this thread was:


Absolutely nothing? Take that back to the General Aviation Forum.

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RE: RB211 Vs GE

Thu Oct 25, 2001 10:55 am

Does anyone have any more information about the recent incidents of uncontained failure on the CF6? How recent were they?
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Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2001 10:34 am

RE: RB211 Vs GE

Thu Oct 25, 2001 1:51 pm

I like to here from any Qantas people as to how the Roller is
going on the Ex BA 767's on the MEL-SYD-MEL run. What are they
like compared to the CF6's? I know the Ansett CF6's didn't
really like this 1 hour leg. We used to get about 2000 to 3000
hours out of them before an overhaul was required.


RE: RB211 Vs GE

Thu Oct 25, 2001 1:54 pm

It was last year where there were a series of uncontained engine failures involving the spools on the GE CF6. One involved a US Airways 767-200ER on the ground during an engine test run when the engine came apart severely damaging the aircraft.
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RE: RB211 Vs GE

Wed Oct 31, 2001 9:52 am

To Panman

Re: your comments to Covert.

GREAT COMEBACK!!! that sence of humour!!

Dave Hollingsworth

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