Boeing 747-8: Power of the GEnx engine

The GEnx engine is the fastest-selling high-thrust engine in GE’s history. An engine that also powers the Boeing 787, the GEnx has received more than 1,400 orders to date with a list price of over $20 billion.

Based on proven GE90 architecture, the GEnx engine succeeds GE’s CF6 engine. Compared to the CF6 engine, the GEnx will offer up to 15 percent improved fuel efficiency, which translates to 15 percent less CO2. The GEnx’s innovative twin-annular pre-swirl (TAPS) combustor will dramatically reduce NOx gases as much as 60 percent below today’s regulatory limits and other regulated gases as much as 90 percent. Based on the ratio of decibels to pounds of thrust, the GEnx will be the quietest engine GE has produced due to the large, more efficient fan blades that operate at slower tip speed, resulting in about 30 percent lower noise levels. The GEnx will be the world’s only jet engine with both a front fan case and fan blades made of carbon fiber composites.

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Aid to Air India

The recent decision taken by U.S. Exim Bank to support Air India (AI) financially has been received with mixed feelings. Most American carriers have labeled AI as “one of the most poorly-run airlines in the world,” and have strongly opposed the $3.4 billion loan to it to buy Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

Air India has pending orders for 27 Boeing Dreamliners, the deliveries of which are expected to begin by the end of this year. These are part of the 68-aircraft order placed by the national carrier with the U.S. plane manufacturer.

Personally, I think that AI has caught a huge break. With no financial backing and dipping commercial value, this was possibly one of the last resorts. I’m not really sure but the kudos probably need to be directed towards Rohit Nandan, who recently replaced Arvind Jadhav (no relation to me) as Chairman.

The opposition by American carriers has resulted in the Air Transport Association (ATA), a trade group representing America’s biggest carriers, shooting off a letter to U.S. Export-Import Bank Chairman Fred Hochberg opposing the decision, saying Air India’s financial ill-health should disqualify it from getting American help.

The U.S. Exim Bank had last month decided to give loan guarantees of $1.3 billion to support Air India’s fleet acquisition from Boeing and another $2.1 billion preliminary commitment to support future deliveries of the U.S. aerospace company’s planes to the Indian national carrier.

From a business perspective, I have always believed that financial stability is the key to a successful airline. Profit margin, commercial (face) value, etc follow. The murky waters in the Indian Aviation Market today have made most airlines (read: Kingfisher Airlines) adapt to the oncoming wave.