CF 6 ET
and General Manager
I’m very honored to be asked to help Snecma celebrate its 50th
anniversary and to mark 100 years of French aircraft engines.
In particular, I’d like to
recognize the extraordinarily successful joint venture that has flourished
between GE Aircraft Engines and Snecma for more than 20 years.
I think it’s fair to say that
this relationship is the best example of global cooperation in this or any
We’ve proven that
international joint ventures - in particular those between the
And we accomplished this in a
very high technology business, without regard to national borders.
As Pierre Alesi has pointed out,
the most shining proof is the CFM56 program - one of the most
successful engine programs in aviation history.
Today, I’ll provide a brief update on the CFM56, as well as our
other commercial engine programs.
It’s important to note that
Snecma has been involved in all of those engines.
I’ll begin with an overview of GE Aircraft Engines ... our markets,
our products and our services.
GE serves three main markets :
- Commercial aircraft
- Military aircraft, and
- Marine and industrial users of
aeroderivative gas turbines.
We have about 500 customers
worldwide, with 52,000 engines in service.
One of the secrets to our
success is a long history of technical leadership, beginning with the United
States’first jet engine produced by GE during World War II.
To that breakthrough development, we’ve added many other
- We developed the world’s
first turboprop engine ;
- The first variable stator
engine ; and
- The first Mach 2 fighter and
Mach 3 bomber engines.
- We advanced the
state-of-the-art with the first turbine to withstand temperatures of 2,400
degrees Fahrenheit (1,316 degrees Celsius) ;
- We successfully developed the
first 30:1 pressure ratio engine ; and
- The first high bypass engine.
- When rising fuel prices were
threatening the industry, we developed the first unducted fan engine for
unprecedented fuel efficiency.
- We also developed the first
variable cycle turbofan engine.
- In conjunction with Snecma,
Fiat and IHI, we recently developed the GE90, the world’s first engine to
achieve more than 100,000 pounds of thrust.
- And, in response to increasing
environmental regulations, we’ve developed and certified the first dual
annular combustor, which will be used in several engine programs.
These technologies have given us a leadership position while helping
us satisfy customer demands.
As you know, those demands have changed dramatically over the past
One of the inhibiting factors
has been fleet overcapacity.
This is the downside to the
unprecedented levels of orders and deliveries we enjoyed in the late 1980s,
when the future looked much brighter.
Fortunately, much of that
overcapacity is now being absorbed and airlines are improving their
World airlines had a net profit
of 1.8 billion dollars in 1994 on international scheduled services, and that
figure is expected to climb to 5.5 billion in 1995.
But the competition is still
fierce and we expect the industry will continue to restructure as it
struggles to lower costs.
The good news is that we see a worldwide increase in revenue
passenger miles of about five percent per year, with even higher projections
for the growing Asian markets.
Regional carriers will enjoy
double digit increases for the next several years as the popularity of
point-to-point carriers continues.
However, even this boost in regional traffic will not absorb a
significant portion of the increase in revenue passenger miles ... that
means there will be greater strain on today’s high-volume, slot-limited
Given that airport expansion
opportunities and new sites are limited, we believe there will be a greater
demand for larger aircraft and engines.
We’re predicting a demand for more than 12,000 new aircraft over
the next 20 years, with dramatic growth coming from new widebody aircraft
such as the Boeing 777, the MD11 and the Airbus A330 and A340.
After the turn of the century, we believe that growth versions of
these airplanes - or perhaps a new, very high capacity aircraft -
will provide significant new application opportunities.
What will airline customers be looking for as they make those
purchase decisions ?
For those who have been
listening to our customers, the key requirements are very clear.
Aircraft and engines must
provide more value to airlines at no additional cost.
They must be efficient to
They must be flying and
performing well ... not on the ground, undergoing maintenance.
They must meet increasingly
stringent environmental codes.
And, of course, they must fly
more people more miles at greater speeds.
It’s a tough list of requirements, but our customers expect lower
cost of ownership.
We believe that we, and our revenue sharing participants, can meet
At GE, we’ve already taken
actions to align our processes with customer requirements.
Increasing productivity is at the core of these efforts ... because
better productivity drives the top three customer needs :
- low cost,
- high quality, and
- quick delivery.
Many people believe you can only deliver on two out of these three
requirements at any one time.
You can have it inexpensive and
good, but it will take time.
You can have it inexpensive and
quick, but it won’t be very good.
Or, you can have it quick and
good, but it’s going to cost a lot more.
We’ve proven that we can
deliver all three.
Here’s how we’re doing it.
We’re taking a right-to-left approach to designing new products ... we
start with the features the customer wants and work backward to meet those
We’re also focusing on design for manufacturability - making sure
design intent is in line with process capability.
Those of you who have worked in manufacturing will appreciate that it
often takes a combination of science, experience and luck to translate an
engineer’s design into a finished product.
For several years, we’ve been reorganizing our processes to be concurrent
rather than linear.
This effort has dramatically cut product development time, improved
communication and enhanced quality.
In the factory, we’ve used GE’s Work-Out process to redesign our shop
floors into manufacturing cells.
One of the most effective ways for improving productivity has been our
Centers of Excellence concept.
The centers are co-located, commodity-focused teams which include
representatives from design, revenue sharing participants, sourcing,
quality, manufacturing and vendors.
As I mentioned earlier, each of
these efforts is having a dramatic impact on the customers’top three
requirements - cost, quality and speed.
When it comes to meeting
customer demands for reliability and performance, I’m always proud to show
The CF6 and CFM56 engine families lead the industry in reliability
In fact, most pilots flying aircraft powered by either of these
engines will never experience a single engine-caused in-flight shutdown.
As I’ll mention in a moment, our latest entries into the market
continue to build on this reputation.
In order to sell and support these engines, we’ve recently
reorganized our sales and marketing group into seven regions -
providing industry-leading support around the world.
Representatives in each of these
offices cover our full product line in all markets.
Our Product Support operations
are also tied into these regional offices.
We have cross-functional teams
in place to provide timely responses to customer questions.
Cohesive, regional teams make it
easier to identify growth opportunities.
In addition, integrating with
Snecma and across our product lines ensures seamless customer support,
simplifies communication and capitalizes on their experience and
We believe that each of the elements I’ve just discussed :
- our long tradition of
- our focus on customer demands,
- our teaming relationships with
other industry leaders,
- our process improvements,
- our structure ...
have positioned us well to
deliver consistent customer value and reliability.
Now, I’d like to provide a brief update on our major commercial
First up is the CF6 family, which has consistently been a leader in
technical superiority, customer value and market share.
We’re particularly proud of
the outstanding performance that the -80C2 provides to our customers.
This derivative is the
industry’s best-selling engine for widebody aircraft, with more than 80
customers selecting it to power nearly 1,200 firm and option aircraft.
They’ve picked the -80C2 in part because of its outstanding
The -80C2 has the highest dispatch rate ;
The fewest total removals on the 747 and 767 ; and
The lowest in-flight shutdown rate.
Our newest CF6 has surpassed that record in its very first year of
The -80E1, introduced in 1994,
has had :
- Zero in-flight shutdowns ;
- Zero rejected takeoffs ;
- Zero engine-caused removals ;
- 99.8% performance reliability.
That’s quite an impressive
record, but we’re not content to stop there.
We will continue our commitment to this program by introducing proven
technology enhancements that provide customer value.
A good example of this type of
customer-driven technology is the CF6 low emissions combustor.
This combustor significantly
reduces emissions well below international standards, without increasing
engine complexity or maintenance cost.
I’d like to highlight the CFM56-7, the newest of the CFM56 family,
built by GE and Snecma.
Together, we spent 18 months
working with Boeing and our launch customers before development began to
make sure we focused on the most important features.
The result is the -7, which will
offer customers reduced shop and line maintenance costs, lower fuel burn and
improved range, speed and altitude ... all for the same price as previous
In addition, GE’s double
annular combustor is available as an option for the CFM56-7 and 5B engines,
and as a standard item for the GE90.
The combustor, developed in
response to customer requirements, significantly reduces nitrogen oxides.
As we look down the road, we see
customer demand for a new engine in the 45,000 pound thrust range.
We believe there is a market for
Its first application could be
on a stretched version of the Airbus A340.
We’re currently studying the
business viability for this program with Snecma.
We’ve brought together the
demonstrated technology, improved manufacturing capabilities, and enhanced
management skills gained in the CF6 and CFM56 programs for our most recent
I’m speaking about the GE90, which has been developed in
conjunction with Snecma, Fiat and IHI.
We call it the « Engine
with the Future built in », and we think that future looks very
As I mentioned earlier, the
combination of increased passenger traffic and slot-limited airports will
drive the market for larger aircraft and larger engines.
The GE90 is well positioned for
these larger aircraft.
The design incorporates many
proven technologies, while adding key enhancements to lower fuel
consumption, noise and emissions.
The engine has set already set a
world record in test at 110,000 pounds of thrust.
It features an unequaled 9:1
bypass ratio, made possible by the 123-inch wide chord fan, which is based
on the technologies demonstrated in the unducted fan program.
Specific fuel consumption is
about 10% lower than current turbofans.
Emissions are less than
two-thirds of current international guidelines, and noise levels are also
significantly below requirements.
In addition, because we used
many of the process improvements I mentioned earlier, the engine was
developed in significantly less time than previous new programs ... and yet
it has demonstrated a greater degree of maturity at certification.
The engine was certified in
February of this year, when it also completed its successful first flight
test on the 777.
Certification of the 777/GE90 is
expected in August, with qualification for extended twin operations in
We will deliver the first
aircraft and engines to our launch customer British Airways in September,
with delivery to
In parallel with this launch, we’re also working on the GE90 growth
program, which is the 92,000 pound thrust version for the B market.
The first -92B engine to test is
scheduled for August 1995, with engine certification in May of 1996.
The first 777 flight test is planned for August 1996, with first
delivery to British Airways in December.
The GE90 also has the capability to grow beyond the 92,000 pound
thrust range as the market demands.
As you can see we’ve come a
long way with this program in a short time.
We were able to do that in large part because of the outstanding
relationship with Snecma and with Fiat and IHI.
As we mark this 50th anniversary
for Snecma, I’d like note that in spite of the difficult times our
industry has faced in the past few years, I’m confident we’re on the
crest of a better business cycle.
While no one has enjoyed the
recent downturn in business, we have certainly learned from the experience.
As a result, we believe we’re in an even stronger position to
continue to meet customer needs in terms of cost, reliability and
performance as we enter the 21st century.
This combuster, which was developed in response to customer
requirements significantly reduces nitrogen oxides.
And as we look down the road we see customer demand for a new engine
in the 45,000 pound thrust range which
As I mentioned earlier, the
combination of increased passenger traffic and slot limited airports will
drive the market for this type of large aircraft, and larger engines.
The GE90 is well positioned for these larger aircraft.
The design incorporates many proven technologies while adding key
enhancements to lower fuel consumption, noise and emissions.
The engine has already set a thrust record of 110,000 pounds.
It features a 9 to 1 bypass ratio and that's made possible by the
123-inch wide-chord fan, which we demonstrated on previous technology
programs in the unducted fan.
Specific fuel consumption is about 10% lower than current turbofans.
Emissions are less than two-thirds of current international
guidelines and noise levels are also significantly below requirements.
In addition, because we use many of the process improvements I
mentioned earlier, the engine was developed in significantly less time than
our previous new programs. And
yet it has demonstrated a great deal of maturity as we move to
The engine was certified in February this year when it completed its
first successful test flight on the 777.
The aircraft-engine combination is scheduled for certification in
August with delivery in September to British Airways.
We will deliver and launch for British Airways in September with
The GE90 has also the capability to grow beyond the 92,000 pound
thrust range as the market demands. As
you can see, we have come a long way with this program in a short time.
And we were able to do that in large part because of the outstanding
relationship with SNECMA, Fiat and IHI.
As we mark this 50th anniversary for SNECMA, I'd like to note that in
spite of the difficult times in our industry, and what we faced in the past
few years, I'm confident we're on the crest of a better business cycle.
While no-one has enjoyed the recent downturn in business, we
certainly learned from the experience. And
as a result, we believe we will be in an even stronger position to continue
to meet customer needs in terms of cost, reliability and performance as we
enter the 21st century.
Copyright www.stratisc.org - 2005 - Conception - Bertrand Degoy, Alain De Neve, Joseph Henrotin