Fifteen years ago GE was the new kid on the regional engine block, said Bruce Bromby. But the success of the regional airline industry has transformed their business, which now comprises nine turboprop and turbofan engine types.
GE's CF34 engine family represented more than $1.5 billion in sales for the company. The CF34-3 engine powers the CRJ-100/200 jets, but at RAA the company was touting its new CF34-8C1 derivative, which recently completed its first test flight.
The CF34-8C1 will power Bombardier's new 70-passenger CFJ-700, which rolls off the production line later this month. The engine last Monday flew as an auxiliary engine under the port wing of a Boeing 747 flying testbed, successfully meeting all expectations.
GE plans to produce about 15 to 20 CF34-8C1 engines per month. The company is also developing the CF34-8D derivative engine for Fairchild Aerospace's 528/728/928 jet family. Procurement is currently underway for this underwing mounted version of the -8C.
GE has proposed its CF34-8E derivative, which will be capable of up to 18,000 pounds thrust, to Embraer for its newly announced ERJ-170/190 jet family. Bromby says GE is working hard to win the Embraer order, which will assure the timely entry of the ERJ-170 into this competitive market.
Meanwhile, Bromby says the CT7 turboprop engine program is going strong. The CT7, which powers the Saab 340, CASA and IPTN CN235 military light transports, have accumulated around 15.5 million flight hours. The engines will also be on board the Ayers/LET L610G 40-passenger turboprop, which is in the final stages of certification in the Czech Republic, and the Sukhoi S-80, the 26-passenger plane that will undergo flight testing later this year. There is good sales potential for the plane in Russia, which is expected to certify the S-80 in about two years, Bromby said.