We’re all used to Airbus and Boeing engaging in hand-to-hand combat. The war has now spilled over to CFM and Pratt & Whitney and the LEAP engine vs the GTF.
There have always been some sharp words. But according to these two stories from Guy Norris at Aviation Week, the tone has now gotten even sharper.
We’re puzzled by CFM’s claim (in the first story) that the LEAP will have a 2%-2.5% advantage in fuel burn over the GTF. Airbus gives a 1.5% advantage to GTF because of the larger fan (John Leahy, Credit Suisse conference Nov. 30, 2011). CFM claims a 15% SFC gain over today’s engines; PW claims 16% SFC gains (pre-installation) for its GTF and flying test results bear this out, PW says.
CFM has a larger market share of aircraft over 100 seats, because of its exclusivity on the 737 MAX. CFM also has a larger share of the A320neo family, the only airplane where there is head-to-head competition, bolstered by the policy of sister company, lessor GECAS, of buying only GE engines; and a financial rescue of Frontier Airlines, which has a CFM-powered A320 fleet and which ordered the A319neo/320neo at the Paris Air Show last year with LEAP engines.
It’s noteworthy in the first article that the LEAP-1B for the 737 MAX shares little commonality with the LEAP-1A and LEAP-1C. This reflects the challenges of fitting a LEAP under the wings of the physically-constrained 737, which basically required another core design.
Separately, here is a story about the materials and process used for the LEAP.