Air Transport World

Eastward, Ho! (Soviet aircraft industry develops contracts to purchase aircraft engines from Western suppliers)

PARIS-Representatives of commercial-transport and engine manufacturers from the J.S.S.R. and the U.S. and Western Europe signed agreements during the 39th salon here that reflect significant progress in the degree of cooperation taking place between the former Cold War adversaries. Foremost among them were firm agreements between Ilyushin and Pratt & Whitney to develop a PW2000-powered stretch version of the 11-96-300, and between Aeroflot, Ilytishin and CFM International (CFMI) to re-engine 20 11-86s with CFM56 engines (ATW, 7/91).

Brian Rowe, senior vice president, GE Aircraft Engines, which is a partner with SNECMA in the CFMI program, was upbeat about overall sales prospects in the U.S.S.R. The opening of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe to the West has created an incredible new market for our products and has opened the door for joint ventures and cooperative agreements with unlimited possibilities."

Pratt & Whitney's Selwvn D. Berson, president of Commercial Engine Business, commented on the PW2000 deal: "Now we are down to real metal. We are going to make something fly." He acknowledged that Pratt had been working on the deal for more than two years.

Speaking about the same agreement, Ilyshin General Designer Genrikh Novozhilov said: We have the foundation ... we have been seeking for the 11-96M program."

Nevertheless, equipment manufacturers admit that major obstacles to cooperation still exist. Concern about payment appears to have played a part in the negotiations over the 11-86 re-engine program. "The Soviets have to be realistic about how they pay for the engines," GE's Rowe said. Actual signing of the deal involved CFMI, Ilyushin, the Soviet Ministry of Transport and Aeroflot but essentially, it represents an order by Aeroflot for 20 CFM-powered Il-86s. …

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