Rivals for power in the business aviation engine market

In a business aircraft market that has seen a spate of new programmes, they are the power behind the flown. The industry’s five main turbojet manufacturers have been busy of late, with Safran aiming to deliver its delayed Silvercrest – chosen for the Cessna Citation Hemisphere and Dassault’s Falcon 5X – by early next year, and new powerplants from General Electric and Pratt & Whitney Canada undergoing flight test campaigns on, respectively, the latest large-cabin Bombardier Global and Gulfstream types.

Meanwhile, the third Cessna Citation Longitude prototype – powered by the Honeywell HTF7700, a variation on the US company’s HTF7000 family – has taken to the air, with the aircraft due for certification at the end of this year. Not to be outdone, Rolls-Royce – rejected by long-time customer Gulfstream when the Savannah-based company opted for P&WC on its G500 and G600 – is developing a new engine core based on the Advance and UltraFan technologies it is developing for large commercial airliners. It hopes the product will be available for future business jet programmes from 2020.

Bombardier’s Global 7000 – with its two 10,000-20,000lb (44-89kN)-thrust GE Aviation Passport engines – is well into flight testing and due to enter service in 2018. The aircraft has been flown at Mach 0.995, making it the largest business jet to come within five-thousandths of a Mach number below supersonic speed. The engines have completed 3,100h in ground and flight test, says Brad Mottier, GE Aviation’s vice president for business and general aviation, who adds that the Passport “continues to meet our expectations in preparation for entry into service”.

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The Passport features innovations such as a 52in (132cm)-diameter titanium fan blisk, the first application of this technology in an engine of this size, and a core scaled down from the Leap airliner engines produced by its CFM International 50/50 joint venture with Safran. The Global 7000 and yet-to-fly Global 8000 are the engine’s only applications so far, but Mottier says: “Although we don’t have anything to announce, we are talking to customers, looking to understand their development plans and how Passport fits into the picture.”

P&WC also says the two variants of its PW800, powering Gulfstream’s G500 and G600, are “performing very well”, with 13,000h of testing completed, including 3,500h on the aircraft. “It has been an amazing achievement,” says Scott McElvaine, vice president PW800 marketing and customer service. The engine, which is also the Canadian company’s first product in the 10,000lb-20,000lb-thrust segment, will be produced at Mirabel, alongside the PW1000G for the Bombardier CSeries, Embraer E2 and Mitsubishi Regional jet. “We are smack in the middle of ramp-up,” he says.

P&WC originally developed the PW800 for…

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