DÉBATS

 

 

avec la participation de Pierre Condom

Directeur de la rédaction d’Intervavia

 

 

 

Richard Albrecht

Executive Vice-President of Boeing Commercial Airplane Group

Président de séance

 

            As your previous Chairman, I too am happy to be here as a representative of an airplane manufacturer. This is one of those relationships that is often a love-hate relationship. We know that we need engines and they know we need airplanes. My favorite comment about engine manufacturers was from Joe Sutter who was a former executive of Boeing Commercial Airplane Group. Joe said, "The best engine manufacturer is usually the last one that you've encountered." Actually, it was the worst is the last one you've encountered, the best one is the one you haven't seen for a while.

            But this afternoon we will hear much about developments in commercial engines.

            As you can see from these presentations each engine manufacturer has a superior product, a superior service, the best fuel burn, and is the easiest to deal with for airplane manufacturers.

            Before going to questions from the audience, I turn now to Mr. Pierre Condom.

 

 

Pierre Condom

 

            Je trouve que M. Albrecht a beaucoup de chance car il y a trois motoristes qui l’aident à vendre son avion, ce qui contribue financièrement à la chose.

            J’aimerais toutefois savoir comment trois motoristes arrivent à faire un succès sur un avion, cela ne suppose t-il pas que cet avion a un succès considérable ?

 

 

Richard Albrecht

 

            I think the question of having alternate engines available on a given model of an airplane is one that is a changing one. We have on wide-bodies traditionally offered the engine of any manufacturer who had a suitable engine. In the case of the 737 family, the most successful airplane ever produced, we have had different engines at different times, but never alternative engines at the same time. The cost of developing an engine and the cost of certifying an airplane with an alternate engine may suggest that the 777 may be the last airplane developed with three alternative engines. While I would not like to make that prediction because competition does work as you heard from the prior presentations and we always do provide more value to the customers when there are alternates available.

            Would any of the engine manufacturers like to comment?

 

 

Charles L. Chadwell

 

            I would only comment in maybe two regards.

            First of all, the competition with three engine manufacturers for a single airplane is very difficult and becoming increasingly difficult as we go forward. The airplanes as the 737, the A 340 which we like very much since we have the engine on those airplanes, probably will not be the rule, but it will be a mixture of some. I think the cost of developing an engine for a single airplane will far outweigh the payback period if there's only one particular aircraft application and three engines for that application make it very difficult economically and will continue to.

 

 

Robert F. Leduc

 

            I guess I would like to comment also. Our opinion is three engines on an airplane is not a sustainable strategy. I think what you are going to see going forward is I don't know if we will ever see three engines on a wing again. I think there is incentive for both the engine manufacturers and the airplane manufacturers not to have three. If you can get it from Boeing's perspective and, Dick, I hope you'll let me go, it's very difficult to keep track of three sets of engines, three different sets of inventory, three different sets of hardware when you in fact are trying to reduce cycle time, production time, its inconsistent. I think there's arguments on both sides to suggest why three engines on a wing probably is not sustainable in the long term.

 

 

Daniel Wicks

 

            I think from our point of view, the engine business has been more competitive for a longer time than perhaps the airframe side has been. We really have had many years now of head-to-head battle. It isn't just a matter of three engines even when we have only two engines on an airplane and the 757 is a classic example between Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce, where the battle is no less fierce on a number of occasions than it is when there is three. Somehow, as an industry, we have got to find ways of making money out of this business. And that applies to the airlines as well, and they struggled. It is a growth business because you can see the traffic there. But making it a growth business that actually provides revenue to all the partners is the challenge that we are all facing. I think there is no simple solution to that. I can't see any of the major manufacturers giving up its position to anybody else without having an immense fight for it.

 

 

Pierre Alesi

 

            J’espère que les relations entre les avionneurs et les motoristes suivront la voie que nous suivons, par exemple avec un certain nombre de nos fournisseurs, à savoir le développement du partenariat qui a remplacé la concurrence sauvage entre le maître d’œuvre et plusieurs fournisseurs. Je souhaite que le partenariat se développe entre avionneurs et motoristes. Je tiens à dire combien nous sommes satisfaits, je crois que nos clients aussi, du 737 équipé du CFM 5-3 et demain par le -7.

 

 

Richard Albrecht

 

            Thank you. I think we will move on to another question, although I would invite you, David, that is, if you think that engine competition is more severe than airplane competition, why don't we change assignments for a month or two ?

 

            I have a few questions with respect to the CFM 56 program. One of which was why was the CF put in front of the M 56 and I understand the CF has a General Electric prefix and the M was a SNECMA prefix and they combined them to make CFMI. Very logical.

 

            I have been asked the question : Would the 737 have been a success without the CFM 56 and do you think the next generation 737 with the CFM 56-7 will be the same success ? The answer to the question is "obviously" or we would not have launched it.

 

            But, to the first question, I don't think there's any doubt that if we had not had an excellent engine with great reliability the 737-300, 400 and 500 programs, would not have been nearly as successful as they were.

 

            I think they also came on the market at the right time. If you recall, the US deregulation resulted in a lot of hub and spoke operations and the CFM 56 powered 737 was the right size for many of those markets and so market timing is important. But clearly good reliable field efficient engines are also important.

 

            I'd like to skip around a little bit so that we make sure we get questions to each of the engine manufacturers.

 

            So there are a series of questions dealing with the ADP. One addressed to Mr. Chadwell, did you experiment with the ADP versions of the CF 6 ?  Have you drawn paper engines in that category ? There are also questions to each of the engine manufacturers, so perhaps Chuck you comment and then ask any of the rest of the manufacturers to comment on.

 

 

Charles L. Chadwell

 

            That will be a fairly easy one for me to look at. Like everybody in this industry, we have looked at geared fans and we continue to look at it on a very preliminary basis. It is not a high priority from our standpoint right now in terms of the next developments. But we have looked at and continue to study it, but that's as far as we have gone with it.

 

 

Daniel Wicks

 

            We do the same so that not only because we want to understand it, but we also want to understand what our competitors see in it from time to time.

            There's some undoubted SFC advantages available from a geared fan.  In all the studies that we have done, we have not been able to rationalize the weight penalties of getting that, and the reliability issues of getting that and therefore our general feeling for it is that it is something that's there but it's not there yet.

 

 

Robert F. Leduc

 

            I guess since I spent 500 million dollars on it since 1987, maybe I ought to answer this question.

            We have a fundamental philosophy that says if an ADP produces X amount of thrust it has to weigh the same as the conventional turbofan producing the same amount of thrust. We believe between our advanced composite work, our flight weight gearbox work, and the latest configuration which we can come up with that engine, we meet that goal. So there is no weight penalty as we're concerned with the ADP. We've also addressed a lot of the reliability concerns, particularly on the part of Airbus over the last several months as part of the installation studies we have been doing with them as I alluded to before.

            The only thing that would prevent us from launching an ADP is that we have a fundamental rule in-house. And that is, it has to make business sense, it would probably have to be sole source or exclusive position on the airplane. If we can't secure that, we will not launch the ADP. We will get value pricing for it or we will not launch it.

 

 

Pierre Alesi

 

            Snecma étudie, en avant-projet, des formules ADP depuis quelques années mais pour l’instant, nous n’avons pas trouvé, en faisant le bilan complet sur l’avion, des avantages pour cette formule par rapport à un moteur conventionnel.

 

 

Richard Albrecht

 

            Most of those questions were addressed to the ADP. Would the answer be any different for unducted fans? And a related question here is, where are the gains in fuel consumption to come from if not from something such as that?

 

 

Charles L. Chadwell

 

            I'll speak from the unducted fan. It obviously did give us the fuel efficiency and is still there as proven technology from our standpoint. We put it on the shelf as fuel prices starting coming back down and made the advance in terms of the fuel consumption less attractive from an economic standpoint. But the technology works, it's available and it is a way to improve fuel consumption and that I think will depend a lot upon fuel prices as we go forward.

 

 

Robert F. Leduc

 

            We would echo those comments.  Our experience with the propfan in fact proves that the fuel burn, SFC benefits are there, but unless we see a significant increase in fuel price, we don't think the benefits are there for the unducted configuration.

 

 

Richard Albrecht

 

            This is a question for Chuck and David. After the ETOPS 180 minute certification of the Pratt & Whitney 4084, do you feel that you're arriving too late with the GE 90 and the Trent 800?

 

 

Daniel Wicks

 

            No. Recognize that. As Dick well recognizes, the speed with which we are bringing the Trent 800 to the market is actually dictated by Boeing and not by Rolls-Royce. We feel very comfortable with it. We certificated it, as I said, the engine early. We had one of the best development programs that we have ever seen. We feel very confident going through the ETOPS program that we established with Boeing. And we will be on time for our customers.

 

 

Charles L. Chadwell

 

            First thing I would like to say to Bob is, congratulations. Like you and Rolls-Royce, this is a very demanding program from the standpoint of what we are going through with Boeing and the agencies relative to qualification and certification. However I think this is a long race. We are at the very beginning of it and a lot of the time sequence has been dependent on customer and customer orders, so I don't feel like we are at any disadvantage with where we are at the program and we think this is going to be a very good product for a very long time for us and for Boeing.

 

 

Richard Albrecht

 

            I think I should add that from the Boeing standpoint, David, you are partly right, the timing is somewhat dictated by Boeing but it's really dictated by our customers because when we decided to offer all three engines, we left the party who ordered the first airplane choose the engine and we took them in sequence. We did say that we would like to space them at least 4 months apart and we got them at approximately that.

            I would also say that I believe the early ETOPS program that was launched for the 777 is sufficiently comprehensive that when the airplane enters into service with anybody's engine, it will be reliable and the related systems airplane and engine systems, will be sufficiently reliable, that perhaps the whole issue of ETOPS would go away because it really is a holdover from the reciprocating engine and we have to remind ourselves as we celebrate a 50-year anniversary of Snecma and 100 years of aircraft engines, that it is a relatively young industry, and we do have some holdovers from the days of less reliable engines.

            The next question for Pierre Alesi : Do you think you will launch the CFM XX very soon ? If yes, where will you get the financing and who is the launcher, who will be the leader ?

 

 

Pierre Alesi

 

            Les travaux ont commencé depuis une petite année entre General Electric et Snecma. Des contacts et des études s’effectuent aujourd’hui avec l’avionneur qui est Airbus. L’avancement technique est satisfaisant entre CFM et Airbus. Nous entamerons prochainement des discussions plus détaillées sur les spécifications techniques et commerciales du moteur. Le calendrier de l’opération n’est pas définitivement fixé mais nous sommes prêts, à CFM, d’offrir ce moteur au tout début des années 2000.

            En ce qui concerne le financement, c’est un moteur CFM donc à 50 % General Electric et 50 % Snecma. Le leader sera tout naturellement CFM International qui assurera, comme cela a été fait sur le CFM 56, le leadership technique et commercial du programme.

            Le financement ne pourra être lancé que si, et seulement si, la Snecma obtient une aide du gouvernement français sous forme d’avances remboursables, c’est ce qui s’est fait sur les différents programmes CFM. Pour le CFM XX, nous avons reçu quelques assurances de la part du gouvernement français.

 

 

Richard Albrecht

 

            Thank you. The next question for Mr. Leduc, do you consider composite fan blades on the PW 4000, if not, how will you reduce the weight of the engine ?

 

 

Robert F. Leduc

 

            We have no plans to put composite fan blades into our engine. I can only, I guess I'll infer that the question relates to the 112-inch motor.

            We've got hollow titanium shroudless fan blades. They have been superb, both in 8-pound bird testing, fan containment testing. They have shown great resistance to fog and hale and ice congestion. We are very very pleased with the performance of them. We do not pay a significant weight penalty for having hollow, shroudless titanium fan blades in the engine relative to composite. We have looked at it as much as can look at it. We're obviously not as proficient at it as Chuck is. We don't know as much about the manufacturing process and we haven't done as much work. But our cursory numbers suggest that hollow titanium is very competitive from a weight basis. So we have no intention of introducing a weight reduction program any time soon.

 

 

Richard Albrecht

 

            Next question is for Mr. Chadwell. Do you see potential developments of the GE 90 for example derated versions to replace the CF 6, or applications on Russian aircraft ?

 

 

Charles L. Chadwell

 

            As far as derated versions to replace the -6, no we don't see that this engine is a bigger engine and in a different thrust class. I think the future for this engine is in the larger thrust applications which will go we believe obviously up to the 98,000 pound range and 95-98,000 pound thrust range, and then eventually, even though this is not where Boeing is today, I'm sure that eventually this aircraft or at some point in its life, it will grow and this engine is postured for that, and that's how it was designed.

 

 

Richard Albrecht

 

            Any comment on the question about application for Russian aircraft ?

 

 

Charles L. Chadwell

 

            At this point we haven't seen any application for Russian aircraft for this engine.

 

 

Richard Albrecht

 

            OK, that leads to the next question which is addressed to Pratt & Whitney. Bob, what is the commercial status of the IL 96 M, how many firm orders inside and outside of the CIS ?

 

 

Robert F. Leduc

 

            Today, there is one IL 96 M flying with PW 2000 power. By the end of this year the number 2 airplane will be completed and around the middle of 1996, we will begin certification testing. As we said here today we've got 20 firm orders from Aria, for the IL96M. That sale is pending the approval of Eximbank and financing.

 

 

Richard Albrecht

 

            As long as we are on the subject of Russia , this question is for David Wicks. Do you plan to have the V 2500 on Russian aircraft ?

 

 

Daniel Wicks

 

            We would put the V 2500 on any aircraft that we could. It's as simple as that. The whole trick in this business is to spread your range to as many applications as possible. And I totally agree with one of the other answers given that if you actually only want to try and get on one application, then you're in for an economic hiding really.

            Yes, we also in Rolls-Royce, we have the 535 engine on the Ilyushin 204 which has been flying for some time and is scheduled, the aircraft itself, with a Russian engine has already been certificated. And it is scheduled to be certificated with a 535 engine at the end of this year.

 

 

Richard Albrecht

 

            OK. I think it's only fair since some of the questions are addressed to me that I take one of them. Do you consider Snecma as a real engine manufacturer or is it only for you a partner in CFM International?

            I think that the real answer to that question is to look at the composition of CFMI. CFMI is a 50-50 partnership between GE and Snecma and as a consequence we consider both of those partners as real engine manufacturers and I think the fact that we are here observing their birthday would suggest that we believe that they are.

 

            Another one for Mr. Wicks. We perfectly understand the advantages of the family concept on the RB211. How do you apply it to the V2500 with only one element in the family?

 

 

Daniel Wicks

 

            We didn't. We know that the V 2500 is the collaborative project with Pratt & Whitney and ourselves as the two senior partners on it with some 30 % share each of that program. It is extremely difficult to shrink engines down in size as it is difficult and was proved difficult in the past to shrink airplanes down in size. We did however do that with the 535 engine because it was based originally on a 524 core and we came down in size. When we wanted to go for what originally was a 25,000 pound thrust engine, we really had nothing there with which we could do with the family and we had a desire and a will to do a collaborative project. We had already started work on an RJ 500 with the Japanese industry. And the opportunity of joining with Pratt & Whitney when they didn't have a competitive powerplant in that size really led to the establishment of the V 2500.

 

 

Richard Albrecht

 

            This is a question if I can read it properly I think is for you, Chuck. What about the GE 45 program sometimes mentioned in the press ?

 

 

Charles L. Chadwell

 

            I think that GE 45 that's mentioned in the press is the CFM XX that we are working with Snecma on.

 

 

Richard Albrecht

 

            OK, I'll use that to lead to another question addressed to me. Is Boeing interested in a new engine such as CFM XX in order to re-engine an existing airplane or equip a new airplane ?

            I think you'll forgive me if I just won't answer that question because we have a lot on our plate right now in developing and certifying two additional engines on this 777 and then developing the 737 family of 600, 700 and 800 airplanes. And I don't think we are looking for another engine at the moment.

 

            Here's a question for you Pierre. What about Snecma's studies on SST engine for the future ? Would you like to comment on that ?

 

 

Pierre Alesi

 

            La seule précision que je peux donner, c’est que les études d’avant-projet continuent sur différentes formules de moteurs adaptées au vol supersonique et, parmi celles-ci, il y a celle du Mid Tandem Fan, étudiée entre Snecma et Rolls, dont les caractéristiques sont données aux avionneurs Boeing, Aérospatiale, de façon à faire des projets d’avions autour de ces moteurs. Mais, pour l’instant, aussi bien chez Rolls Royce que chez Snecma, nous nous limitons à des études d’avant-projets.

 

 

Richard Albrecht

 

            This one is addressed to everyone except Pierre . When will our American and British friends specify their engines in metric systems ?

 

 

Robert F. Leduc

 

            As soon as Boeing asks for it !

 

 

Charles L. Chadwell

 

            I think Bob, you’ve covered it very well.

 

 

Richard Albrecht

 

            I keep asking that question at Boeing and I don't get an answer.

            For Mr. Leduc, what were the developments and development costs necessary to adapt the PW 2000 engine for the C 17 ?

 

 

Robert F. Leduc

 

            I don't know the answer to that question, but Mr. Bylciw who spoke earlier may. So whoever wrote it, if they get a hold of Walt, perhaps we can answer that for you.

 

 

Richard Albrecht

 

            I believe that a question similar to this one was raised to the last panel, but this one is addressed to you, Bob, so I'll address it to you and let other people comment. Do you plan any merger with other aircraft manufacturers ? This particular one is on new versions of the PW 4000.

 

 

Robert F. Leduc

 

            I can't envisage any scenario where we would look at a collaborative agreement on the PW 4000. We have basically 30 % of that motor partnered out now. We can certainly afford any advanced variants so I honestly don't see any need to do it on that particular engine family.

 

 

Richard Albrecht

 

            This question is for General Electric and it has to do with market share, Chuck, so what are the market share for the CFM 56, the CF6-80C and E and for the GE 90 ?

 

 

Charles L. Chadwell

 

            You know, if you ask each one of us you'll get a different answer. We think we're doing very well on market share on all those programs, more than 50 %. But everybody on this panel will have a different view of that.

 

 

Richard Albrecht

 

            Another one for you, Pierre. Could you say some words about reengining of KC 135, AWACS, etc., and about cooperation between industry and official sources for such projects.

 

 

Pierre Alesi

 

            Nous éprouvons une grande satisfaction avec les programmes de remotorisation Boeing KC 135, C 135 et AWACS. J’espère que nous aurons encore beaucoup de ces avions à remotoriser, en particulier ceux de l’Air National Guard. La coopération entre CFM, les services officiels français et américains se passe sans problème. Pourvu que cela dure !

 

 

Richard Albrecht

 

            One further question on the CFM56, why did you change from tip shroud to mid shroud ? And that's a technical question that I don't even understand.

 

 

Pierre Alesi

 

            Sur le CFM 56-2, nous avions des nageoires à l’extrémité de l’aube de soufflante (périphériques). Sur les autres versions, les nagoires sont dites « intermédiaires » parce que nous savons aujourd’hui les faire. Nos aérodynamiciens ont fait de réels progrès. Sur la dernière version du CFM 56-7 nous avons une aube large corde qui améliore d’un point ou deux encore le rendement de la soufflante mais qui surtout donne une résistance aux impacts, aux oiseaux et donc un meilleur comportement en service

 

 

Richard Albrecht

 

            We have covered a lot of questions on a wide variety of subjects here. At this stage, Pierre Condom, would you like to pose any further questions or make some comments to the panel?

 

 

Pierre Condom

 

            Quelle est la réaction du marché face aux problèmes d’environnement. Les quatre motoristes ici présents voient-ils une évolution de la demande de leurs clients ?

 

 

Pierre Alesi

 

            Cela fait partie des qualités de nos moteurs, que nous devons améliorer et que nous améliorons sur les dernières versions, sur le moteur CFM 56-5B. La pression de l’environnement ne faiblira pas, entraînant une diminution des niveaux de pollution. L’autre pollution, c’est la pollution acoustique, les moteurs de demain devront être encore plus silencieux que ceux d’aujourd’hui.

 

 

 

 

Robert F. Leduc

 

            Pierre I didn't mean to omit it, but there's no question we see European airlines in particular seem to be more concerned with emissions and noise than do perhaps domestic airlines. That all being said, as we develop new engines we look at what we think the stage IV noise regulations are going to be. We will look at what the NOx hydrocarbon standards are going to be, and in anticipation of those that's what we are designing our engines to today. We understand that you are not going to be able to compete unless you comply with those noise and emission standards and I think that's true of all of us here.

 

 

Richard Albrecht

 

Chuck, do you have anything to add.

 

 

Charles L. Chadwell

 

            No, other than as you said, Swissair, one of the key issues in that campaign was to make sure that we had a combustion technology that gave them the emissions that they required. But I think that's true for both the emissions and noise and we're spending a significant part of our development dollars in those two areas to make sure that we are complying, not only with the standard of today, but the standard that we think will be around after the year 2000, and I think that's important for all of us.

 

 

Daniel Wicks

 

            I really don't have anything to add to that. I think the industry is spending an enormous amount of money and time worrying about the environment and recognizing the positions in that cycle of events. We as are our colleagues are concerned about the number of different regulations that are coming out in all these areas that I think the whole industry is paying terrific attention to the environment.

 

 

Richard Albrecht

 

            I think that's probably true that it may be that one of the reasons you didn't hear a lot of discussion about it is that each of the engine manufacturers recognizes not only the necessity because of regulation, but the environmental responsibility to make engines as quiet and as pollution-free as is technically possible.

            And on that note, I think we will bring the question and answer session to an end.  I do believe that engine manufacturers have done an outstanding job of producing engines that are dramatically more reliable than they were a decade or two ago. Certainly than 50 years ago. They are now more reliable, they are more fuel-efficient. They are indeed quieter. They are indeed more environmental friendly. And they are easier to put on our airplanes. Thank you very much.

            But once again, congratulations to Snecma for its 50 th anniversary. I believe that the conduct of a seminar such as this to observe that anniversary and that at the same time to commemorate 100 years of aircraft engines is an appropriate way to recognize the important place that Snecma as a company plays in our industry.

 

            I thank you all for your participation, your attention and your challenging questions to the panel.

 

 

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