General Electric and Safran in joint open-bladed jet engine venture

The test-build will reduce fuel and emissions by 20%


General Electric (GE) and Safran have announced plans to test-build an open-bladed jet engine able to reduce fuel usage and emissions by 20%

The Open Rotor RISE engine project means the companies have extended their joint-venture, CFM International, by 10 years to 2050.

The design will have visible fan blades, an open-rotor, and could be in use by the middle of the 2030s. The Open Rotor engine means that previously hidden whirring parts capture more air by being on the outside.

It aims to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by more than 20% compared to the most fuel efficient engines, as well as ensuring 100% compatibility with alternative energy sources such as sustainable aviation fuels and hydrogen.

CFM supplies the engines used in the Boeing 737 MAX; its competitor for the Airbus A320neo is Raytheon Technologies' unit Pratt & Whitney.

Reducing emissions

Competition to supply the components for single-aisle planes like the MAX and A320neo is fierce, while Boeing is belived to be working on a replacement for its 757 jet, however previous attempts have been abandoned due to amount of noise created.

John Slattery, chief executive of GE Aviation said CFM, wanted wanted to be ready to compete for Boeing's new jet. He said: "The relationship between GE and Safran today is the strongest it has ever been."

"Together, through the RISE technology demonstration program, we are reinventing the future of flight."

"We're bringing an advanced suite of revolutionary technologies to market that will take the next generation of single-aisle aircraft to a new level of fuel efficiency and reduced emissions.

CFM International

Olivier Andriès, CEO of Safran said there was an urgent need for more efficient aerospace technology.

"We have to act now to accelerate our efforts to reduce our impact on the environment," he said.

"Since the early 1970s, breakthrough engine efficiency and reliability have been the hallmark of our historic partnership and our LEAP engine already reduces emissions by 15 percent compared to previous generation engines."

CFM International was created in 1974 as a 50/50 joint venture between the two aircraft engine manufacturers and the partnership was renewed in 2008 for the launch of the LEAP engine program.

CFM is one of the world's leading supplier of commercial aircraft engines. More than 35,000 CFM engines have been provided to over 600 airline operators around the world, accumulating more than one billion flight hours.



Further reading: Dubai Aerospace orders 15 Boeing 737 MAX jets worth $1.8bn

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