Safran, partner to the GE Passport™ engine program
Techspace Aero has been participating in GE's Passport program since late 2011. Designed specifically for the latest additions to the Bombardier Global jet family, the Passport engine will be powering the largest models in the business aircraft sector. Global 8000 will have a range comparable to long-haul aircraft (7,900 miles). Progress on the program is currently up-to-schedule with the timeline determined with the customer.
A dedicated JV
To develop this engine, GE opted to create a joint venture with the Japanese firm IHI and Techspace Aero, whose stake amounts to 7.4%. This structure will be in charge of all business transactions and will be bound by contract not only with Bombardier, but also with the final buyers for custom maintenance plans. "By becoming stockholders, we shall have both a better overview of the program and a greater say in the decision-making process," explained Jean-Marc Delaunoy, Head of GE Programs at Techspace Aero.
Signs of trust
"GE has entrusted us with designing, testing and producing the low-pressure compressor (or booster) and oil system equipment (lubrication unit, oil reservoir and heat exchangers)," Jean-Marc Delaunoy pointed out. "And as the Passport engine is designed to power aircraft that will be flying at 50,000 feet, and not 30,000 like airliners, we have had to comply with quite specific technical specifications." Moreover, GE asked Techspace Aero to take care of the booster's mechanical and aerodynamic designs, key to performance. "This is clearly a sign of trust,"
Jean-Marc Delaunoy noted. "Especially as GE has also commissioned us for three engine endurance tests which will be conducted in 2014 on one of our test benches, facilities which give us real added value."
At the end of February, Techspace Aero delivered the first modules (booster and equipment) for the First Engine To Test (FETT) for which the testing campaign will take place in the second quarter. "The engine tests are due to lead to certification in 2015," Jean-Marc Delaunoy indicated. "Our design rules will be matched up against the reality of this new engine which may well result in our products being tweaked to optimize their performance."