Skip to comments.Rolls to power new Boeing 737
Posted on 06/13/2005 7:40:31 PM PDT by Paleo Conservative
AEROSPACE engineering group Rolls-Royce is on course to clinch a huge deal to provide engines for the next generation of Boeing's best-selling 737 jet.
At present, the plane's engines are made exclusively by CFM, a joint venture between America's General Electric and Snecma of France.
But it is understood that Boeing engineers planning a new-generation 737, which could come into service between 2012 and 2014, believe airlines prefer a choice of two engine types.
Boeing believes there is a market for more than 15,000 jets the size of the 737, which can carry up to 180 passengers.
The favoured suppliers for the new plane are thought to be CFM and the IAE consortium. Rolls-Royce and US engine maker Pratt & Whitney each has 32.5% of IAE while the rest is owned by Japanese Aero Engine Corporation and MTU Aero Engines of Germany.
While Derby-based Rolls-Royce has about 30% of the big-engine market with its Trent units, it lags behind rivals in the smaller-engine market. Charles Armitage, aviation analyst at investment bank Merrill Lynch, said a deal would give IAE a 50% share of the engine market for twin-engined jets.
Boeing chairman Lew Platt confirmed that the company was looking at building a newgeneration 737, but said no decision had been made.
There could be further good news for Rolls-Royce next month after Platt confirmed that Boeing would make an announcement on whether to replace the ageing 747 with a newer, larger '747 Advanced'.
This plane would be powered with new, highly efficient engines. And with Rolls-Royce already making them for the new mediumto-large Boeing 787 ' Dreamliner', it would be in a powerful position to provide engines for the Advanced.
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I would love to be a salesperson for Boeing right now.
I find it interesting that it always seems to come down to just a few engine manufacturers, and that some of the engine manufacturers seem to be playing multiple sides of the fence--Rolls being a part of IAE, for example, along with P&W, and yet both companies making their own engines as well...assuming they still do and I'm not just hopelessly out of date.
I always did also find it interesting that Boeing and McDonnell-Douglas made their aircraft to fit two or even three different engines (CF6s and PW4460s on the 767, for example, or the RR Trents and the GE90s on the 777). I guess this was because certain airlines already had lots of planes powered by certain engine manufacturers and wanted to continue with them?
But the 727 and 737 series never had an engine choice. All the 727s and 737 100 & 200 series were powered by PW JT8D engines. The 737 300 through 900 have all been powered by CFM-56 engines.
Very true for the commercial carrier world, which I'm sure is what you intended, although UPS owns some 727's with RR Tay engines. The engine conversion was done because of noise considerations.
Lockheed's choice of Rolls Royce engines for the L1011 was one of the primary factors which which led to the ruin of their commerical airplane operation and drove the company to the point that a federal bailout was required to save it. Rolls Royce would never be my first choice for an engine.
But the UPS 727-100QF planes were developed and certified by UPS and RR long after the 727 line was shut down. It was only feasible, because UPS built 50 of them. No 727 or 737 ever came from the factory with a choice of engines.
They were the first choice of most 757 operators.
I don't know why not. Rolls certainly isn't perfect, but neither is GE. Both make fine engines.
No question as to quality. The engine that was finally delivered did what it was supposed to do. But it was way late and was over budget. So I wouldn't want to have a project dependent on their being able to deliver a new product on time and on budget.
Now, if they were selling off the shelf, it might be a different matter.
If I am not mistaken, the P51 [WWII] was refitted with a rolls engine which made it a superb aircraft.
I bet Ryanair will be a launch customer.