COMAC C919


Gatekeeper

Captain
Registered Member
Why would one expect an R&B group to give GE a run for its money in the jet engine business?

:D

They probably have a preliminary concept sitting on a shelf - when RR left the International Aero Engines joint venture, it was with an eye toward pitching a new narrow body engine design of their own. IIRC I have a Russian presentation somewhere comparing the PD-14 engine architecture to its Western counterparts and the CFM56 which included the RR concept (RB285? It was a Trent-style three-shaft layout). Unfortunately, the lead that GE and especially former IAE partners P&W had in terms of expected entry into service date proved impossible to overcome, so the effort quickly faltered, leaving RR outside the narrow body market altogether.

It's hard to say whether they would be interested in the C919, politically their lower exposure to Boeing compared to Airbus could make it viable, though Brexit might be a problem (economic ties shifting toward the US). While development would not start completely from scratch and a left-field narrow body opportunity has its attractions, the company has moved on in the meantime. There are persistent durability problems on the Trent 1000 to contend with and R&D resources have since been committed to next-gen wide body engines (UltraFan) instead.

From the Chinese perspective it's also a difficult call whether waiting for a clean-sheet RR engine is worthwhile - the greater the improvements over the RB285 (which was unable to compete) are, the longer the delay will be. By contrast, the PD-14 is basically production-ready (it is already certified in Russia!) *now*, leaving only the work related to airframe integration. Are the anticipated performance advantages over the Russian alternative sufficient to justify waiting several years longer? Perhaps if COMAC can foresee that airframe testing and certification are so badly protracted that even a clean-sheet engine won't be the long pole in the tent it might make sense, otherwise just go for the PD-14.
Ok. Thanks guys.

So the RR engines is not as good as the GE engines. I got that.

But what I can't get is in the engine business, like any other. Is that you can still sell your ware even if you are not the best. Otherwise we would just have one brand all the time.

Case in point, it's mobile phones, cars, planes. Etc. This is because there are other factors like after sales. Backups. Hell, even politics and personal preferences.

And we can see this on display with the world of aircraft engines. They are planes flying around with engines other than GE's.

So if China is unable to get GE's latest super duper engine, why can't it get the latest RR engines? (Apart from politics)?

After all, as we said China's intention for this plan is mainly internal flights.
 

Gatekeeper

Captain
Registered Member
No, the RR Trent series is among the best engines available, it only says, RR has nothing in the thrust range of the LEAP X available at the moment.
Thanks Deino.

Ok let me get this. (Bear in mind I'm not a techy). RR engines is among the best available but don't have the trust range of LEAP X.

This to me suggest. Yes it's good. But still only 2nd best to GE. But no matter, it is still good enough. Which leads me back to where the conversation all started.

That is China can have an alternative source of engine (barring political pressure from USA on UK). So why are we afraid that Trump might turn this supply off? (It's a mute point now, since event has overtaken us with Trump wanting to supply China, their most important market for the coming decades)!
 
RR engines is among the best available but don't have the trust range of LEAP X.

This to me suggest. Yes it's good. But still only 2nd best to GE.
No, man. He didn't mean that RRT lacked thrust compared to LEAP. A380 is powered by 4 Rolls Royce Trent 900 engines with with more than double (closer to triple actually) the thrust of the LEAP-1C. He meant that they didn't have anything tailored to the specific requirements of the C919 ready because they never had a contract for it. Like if both GE and RRT were both clothing stores, GE already had a custom suit made for you with your measurements because you came in last month to get fitted for your custom order but you never did that with RRT so obviously they don't have anything with your perfect fit ready. Doesn't mean that they are worse.
 
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Jono

New Member
Registered Member
the discussions so far point to RR engines being very good except for the thrust aspect when compared to the Leap 1C, and cannot be used on the C919 at the present moment without major modifications. But can the RR engines be made to suit the plane in 5 years time with abundant resources and R&D thrown in ? Of course, the major premise is whether the RR engines can shed all American components.
I am quite biased towards UK because I have lived and worked there. Like the country and the people. The British are shrewd and cunning like a fox, but they are mainly honest people and will keep their side of the bargain once a deal is signed.
Even though Britain is on the decline, they still have lots of advanced western technology and talents for China to tap into.
And Brexit is another reason why Britain should be interested in Chinese investments to revive their economy and a China-Britain cooperation can certainly do no harm to either country.
In the long run, an indigenous Chinese commercial engine is a MUST, but it is going to take a long time to gain overseas confidence, American obstacles and pressure being no help either. Hence my idea of adopting the RR engine on the C919, in my humble opinion.
 
the discussions so far point to RR engines being very good except for the thrust aspect when compared to the Leap 1C, and cannot be used on the C919 at the present moment without major modifications. But can the RR engines be made to suit the plane in 5 years time with abundant resources and R&D thrown in ? Of course, the major premise is whether the RR engines can shed all American components.
I am quite biased towards UK because I have lived and worked there. Like the country and the people. The British are shrewd and cunning like a fox, but they are mainly honest people and will keep their side of the bargain once a deal is signed.
Even though Britain is on the decline, they still have lots of advanced western technology and talents for China to tap into.
And Brexit is another reason why Britain should be interested in Chinese investments to revive their economy and a China-Britain cooperation can certainly do no harm to either country.
In the long run, an indigenous Chinese commercial engine is a MUST, but it is going to take a long time to gain overseas confidence, American obstacles and pressure being no help either. Hence my idea of adopting the RR engine on the C919, in my humble opinion.
It's not really a choice between RR and GE right now because for some reason, Trump has uncharacteristically chosen NOT to violate an agreement, so accordingly, the LEAP-1C engines are still going to be supplied to COMAC. This is not the tender phase so COMAC can't just back out and choose another company nor would it be viable to tell RR to develop an engine for it just in case Trump breaks GE's contract down the road. Luckily, Russia's PD-14 is almost perfect in terms of promised parameters for the C919 and will be deployed anyway on Russia's MC-21, so if Trump does back out, or if GE's contract expires due to term before the Chinese engine is ready, the PD-14 is a good alternative to get away from American technology. The downside is that it's not yet one of those big brand engines that can instantaneously get certifications over European (and American) skies and will have to prove its safety with time before it is considered top notch.
 

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