Air Transport World

Hanover '86: accord and discord. (Hanover air show)

Hanover '86: Accord and discord

Announcement by MBB of a new 75-seat propfan airliner to be developed with the Chinese, a propfan engine proposal by MTU, progress by Airbus Industrie towards selling its new A340 airliner to Lufthansa, and a locking of horns between CFM International and International Aero Engines over powerplants in the 25,000 lb.-plus thrust range were among the major features at the Hanover, West Germany, air show.

The head-on collision between CFM-- the partnership between General Electric of the U.S. and SNECMA of France, developing the CFM56 range of engines--and IAE, the Pratt & Whitney, Rolls-Royce, MTU, Fiat and Japanese consortium developing the rival V2500, was sparked by Jacques Chausse, CFM president and CEO, who said, "When we launched the program we were viewed as No. 2 in terms of technology and fuel efficiency, behind the 2500, an engine proposed by a brand-new upstart consortium.

"IAE promised an "all-new' engine, with specific fuel consumption levels 10%-12% lower. Inside CFMI we had our doubts about the 2500. How were seven companies in five different countries going to develop an engine in an extremely short amount of time, when they didn't have one working hour in common? How were two of the companies going to cooperate on the 2500 when they were outright competitors in the same marketplace?

More doubts

"Why was one of the companies, which formerly dominated the short-to-medium range aircraft market, content to invest in a program promising, at best, a 15% share of that same market for the future?

"The 10%-12% advantage claimed on paper at the outset of the program has diminished substantially. …

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