GE Aviation reported that together with its joint venture companies it booked over $36 billion worth of new orders and commitments at the recent Farnborough Air Show, the biannual expo for commercial and military aircraft manufacturers. It said the orders and commitments will see it build more than 1,100 new GE and CFM engines as well as OnPoint engine maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) programs for airlines and aircraft ownership syndicates.
GE Aviation also announced plans to bring high-volume additive manufacturing to its Auburn, AL, production center. It will be the first operation for the company able to mass-produce jet propulsion parts through additive manufacturing.
The Alabama project represents a $50-million expansion of the 300,000-sq.-ft machining operation. Equipment installation will begin later this year, GE noted, and production of additive partts will begin in 2015. By the end next year, the plant could have as many as 10 machines “printing” parts, with potential for more than 50 printers in place there eventually.
In addition to building jet, turboprop and turboshaft engines, GE Aviation produces engine components and integrated systems for commercial, military, business and general aviation aircraft. The Auburn plant will continue to machine super-alloy jet engine parts.
GE Aviation’s major aircraft engine joint venture is with Snecma, a manufacturer of military and civil aircraft engines and part of the high technology Safran Group: together, GE Aviation and Snecma maintain CFM International, which builds the LEAP high-bypass turbofan jet engines for commercial aircraft.
CFM already has a long-backlog of orders for the LEAP engines from Airbus, Boeing, and other jet builders, stretching production plans out for several years. GE Aviation’s portion of the LEAP manufacturing program involves an assembly plant at Durham, N.C., and a new one being built in Lafayette, Ind.
Among the new engine orders and commitments, GE Aviation reported American Airlines selected the LEAP*-1A engine for its 100 new Airbus A320neo aircraft, an order valued at $2.6 billion. Other significant LEAP engine orders were received from easyJet (270 engines, $3.3 billion), Air Lease Corporation (multiple jet programs, $2.8 billion total), China's 9 Air ($3.7 billion), Interjet ($2.9 billion), Monarch Airlines ($1.9 billion), Qatar Airways, China’s Hainan Air and Spring Airlines, and numerous more.
Among the MRO contracts logged at Farnborough, GE Aviation noted that Emirates Air committed to a 12-year OnPointSM program for maintenance and replacement service on the new GE9X engines for its 150 Boeing 777X aircraft. This agreement is valued at more than $13 billion over the life of the contract, according to GE.
Also, GE Aviation, Hamble and India's Mahindra Aerospace agreed to a manufacturing cooperation program for aerostructures, allowing GE to define possibilities for future collaboration with Mahindra Aerospace.