Air Transport World

CF6-80C2 logs hours as competitors enter starting gate. (General Electric turbofan aircraft engine)

CF6-80C2 logs hours as competitors enter starting gate Being first on the market is not always the best tactical move, especially if the technology involved is challenging, the de Havilland Comet an obvious example. However, if the technology is handled right, being the first among equals can win the whole ball game.

First of the new generation big-thrust engines to enter service is General Electric's CF6-80C2, an engine using essentially a standard CF6 core, tweaked and tuned through the incorporation of technology G.E. developed for NASA's Energy Efficient Engine (E.sup.3.) program, driving a new 93-in. fan.

G.E. officials gladly admit--no, boast is a better word--that their engine is a derivative powerplant, grown from a seed that previously bore good fruit. Taking the derivative approach, they say, allows innovative technology to be safely laid onto a proven framework, minimizing the risk to operators that a major problem might spring up. Also, the total cost of a program such as the 80C2 is held down, making the engine more affordable.

Airframe manufacturers like the 80C2 well enough; it is easier to say what widebodies will not use the G.E. powerplant. Of all widebody aircraft being discussed or in production today, only the Airbus A340 will not fly with CF6-80C2 power, simply because the turbofan is far too big for that four-engine application. All widebodies committed to production use or will use the CF6-80C2.

First entering service in October 1985 on a Thai Airways International Airbus A300-600, the CF6-80C2 since has appeared in service with Kenya and Air-India on Airbus A310-300s and with Thai Airways on A310-200s. …

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