Ok. Thanks guys.Why would one expect an R&B group to give GE a run for its money in the jet engine business?
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.
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.