AIRSHOW-UPDATE 1-Jet engine makers battle over performance

Sun Jun 16, 2013 2:46pm EDT
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By Alwyn Scott

PARIS, June 16 (Reuters) - Engine makers for next-generation Airbus and Boeing narrow-body jets stepped up their war of words on Sunday, claiming their new power plants will burn less fuel than current models plus last longer without maintenance and create less noise than their rival's.

CFM International, the engine maker for about three-quarters of the orders for next-generation Airbus and Boeing narrow-body jets, said its LEAP engine will deliver 15 percent lower fuel burn and 2 percent to 3 percent lower operating costs compared with comparable current engines.

Rival Pratt & Whitney hit back, saying its geared turbofan engine has undergone testing on aircraft, giving its claims of 15 percent lower fuel burn over current engines much more credibility. CFM has test parts but not a full engine.

"We are within 10ths of a percent of that (15 percent) figure," Robert Saia, vice president of the next generation product family at Pratt & Whitney, said in an interview with Reuters.

Pratt noted that it has won more than half of the orders for new engines on the A320neo family, including 75 percent of A321 orders, and vowed to maintain the lead after orders are tallied at the Paris Air Show that begins on Monday. CFM dominates orders for the smaller A319 jet.

There are about 925 orders for A320 family jets for which customers have not yet selected an engine.

"Quite a few of those will be out of limbo when this air show is done," said Todd Kallman, president of commercial engines at Pratt & Whitney. "We may be a little bit higher on market share when the show is over."   Continued...