Airbus A320 NEO with GTF ‘still can’t beat the CSeries’: Bombardier
By Mary Kirby
A re-engined Airbus narrowbody "still can't beat the CSeries" even if
the European airframer picks the same Pratt & Whitney geared
turbofan (GTF) technology for re-engining, a top Bombardier executive
Airbus is currently evaluating the CFM International Leap-X and
P&W GTF as optional powerplants for its proposed A320 new engine
option (NEO). Bombardier believes it can destroy the business case for
the the A320 NEO with the CSeries.
Speaking to ATI and Flightglobal following a Bombardier media
briefing at the Regional Airline Association (RAA) convention in
Milwaukee, Bombardier vice-president commercial aircraft programmes Ben
Boehm said: "The fact that they [Airbus] keep mentioning the GTF is a
reversal in what they used to say, and makes us even more confident
we've made the right [engine] choice for the CSeries."W
hen Bombardier was first designing the CSeries, says Boehm, the
Canadian manufacturer looked at every possible reaction from the market
including the "worse case scenario" where a major airframer would design
a clean sheet aircraft with new engine technology such as the GTF.
Airbus and Boeing have yet to decide on successors to their respective
Bombardier Commercial Aircraft vice president, marketing Philippe
Poutissou notes that the GTF "is only a piece of the optimised design"
of the CSeries, "which includes an airframe specifically designed for
the 100- to 150-seat market".
"Our wing, engine and landing gear combo is optimised to get maximum
benefit of ultra-high bypass of the engine," he says. In order to take
full advantage of that 12:1 bypass ratio, "you need to design the wing,
the wing mounting structure and you need to give yourself a clean sheet
Boehm also points out that Airbus appears to be focused on
re-engining "larger aircraft, such as the A320 and A321", which do not
compete with the 110/130-seat CSeries.
Asked if Bombardier will bring a larger-capacity CSeries to market,
Poutissou says: "At this point our programme is really the two models.
We're really focused on delivering the two models [CS100 and CS300]."
To date, Bombardier has secured 90 firm orders and 90 options for the
CSeries. A total 40 of these firm orders and 40 options were recently
placed by US operator Republic Airways.
Bombardier "clearly sees lots of potential" for attracting more
CSeries customers in North America, says Poutissou, as "there hasn't
been a new aircraft in that segment for a number of years".