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Kawasaki C-2: Why CF-6?

Posted: Mon Apr 19, 2021 6:19 am
by An225
Hello all,
I noticed that Kawasaki equipped their C-2 with GE CF-6 engines. It looks weird to me that a new design like this one includes such an old engine technology. For example, they could choose either the PW4000-94 (first run, 1984) or the Trent 500 (first run, 1999), which both produce similar thrust levels.
Was it the fuel consumption (SFC) that became the decision factor?

Thanks,

An225

Re: Kawasaki C-2: Why CF-6?

Posted: Mon Apr 19, 2021 7:13 am
by steman
I am sure those are newer versions of the CF6, not the -6 or -50 that were used in the early 70s on DC10s/747s and A300s.
The CF6-80 series is still in production or has ended production very recently.
I doubt the PW4000 is any newer.

Re: Kawasaki C-2: Why CF-6?

Posted: Mon Apr 19, 2021 8:42 am
by mxaxai
Commonality, most likely. The CF6-80 is also found on the JASDF KC-767, the KC-25A and the C-5M. It's in operation with plenty of civilian operators on the worldwide 747 and 767 fleets (and the remaining A300, A310 and MD-11). This makes it easy to get worldwide support. The Trent 500 is exclusively on the A340-500/600 (and one contributor to their early retirement).

Regarding PW4000-94 vs CF6-80, it seems to be a wash. The USAF (or rather Boeing) decided to use the PW4000 engine on the KC-46 but the CF6 on the C-5M. There's no clear preference among civilian 767 operators either. Again, I would assume commonality with the KC-767J was the primary reason.

Re: Kawasaki C-2: Why CF-6?

Posted: Mon Apr 19, 2021 9:22 am
by ThePointblank
GE also has extensive partnerships and joint projects with a number of Japanese firms, such as IHI. That probably helped lean Japan towards the CF-6 because GE has such extensive interests in Japan.

Re: Kawasaki C-2: Why CF-6?

Posted: Mon Apr 19, 2021 9:42 am
by Armadillo1
the question not a CF-6-80 vs PW400
it is why CF-6 but not Trent 1000 or GEnx (if you want GE)

Re: Kawasaki C-2: Why CF-6?

Posted: Mon Apr 19, 2021 10:26 am
by mxaxai
Armadillo1 wrote:
the question not a CF-6-80 vs PW400
it is why CF-6 but not Trent 1000 or GEnx (if you want GE)

The C-2 was launched in 2001, the T1000 and GEnx weren't on the market until Boeing studied the 787 (7E7) in 2003. Additionally, military projects tend to be conservative with their engine choice. It's one less item that can lead to major delays (as seen on the A400M, for example).

Re: Kawasaki C-2: Why CF-6?

Posted: Mon Apr 19, 2021 1:07 pm
by 744SPX
In addition to commonality, with the CF6-80C2K1F at 59,740 lbs thrust, the C-2 already has the highest thrust to weight ratio of any heavy lift aircraft in the world. The GEnx or T1000 would be massive overkill and also a lot heavier.

Re: Kawasaki C-2: Why CF-6?

Posted: Mon Apr 19, 2021 2:27 pm
by smithbs
As said above, Japan's economy has involvement with the CF6, so it was a natural for a government project looking to take care of its local industry.

Kawasaki was smart: they used an off-the-shelf engine with minimal modifications. That kept development costs and timelines safe from the dangers of engine development.