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The 27-county Southwestern Ohio Aerospace Region is nationally-recognized for its manufacturing expertise. In 2014, the region was one of 12 recipients of a “manufacturing communities” designation that puts local organizations front-of-the-line for federal funding to support the aerospace parts and products manufacturing industry.
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Today: Strong demand for new and existing engines boost GE Aviation sales
GE Aviation expects to grow its backlog of jet engine orders to more than $150 billion at this week’s International Paris Air Show, President and Chief Executive Officer David Joyce told international media Monday at a company briefing during the event.
Before the show started, the order book for jet engines and services from GE and its joint ventures stood at $140 billion, with more than 15,000 engine orders to fill. It’s a record high for the Ohio manufacturer.
Boosting GE Aviation sales are not only two new engines in development, but also the company’s portfolio of existing engine products, which are selling well too, Joyce said.
“We are in a unique era in our industry as we commit to industrialize new products (LEAP, GE9X) while the demand for our current products (GEnx, GE90, CFM56) is very strong,” Joyce said. “We see our current installed base of 36,000 commercial engines growing to 46,000 by the end of the decade with a healthy combination of new and current engines.”
GE Aviation and its joint venture CFM International are expected to sign commitments for $10 billion to $15 billion worth of engines and services this week in France, Joyce said.
For example, one of the deals announced Monday was with Qatar Airways, which plans to buy 10 GE9X-powered Boeing 777X aircraft and four GE90-powered Boeing 777 Freighters, a deal valued at more than $1.1 billion.
That’s less than prior shows, as deals at the last Paris Air Show in 2013 totaled approximately $26 billion, according to GE.
But GE is not unveiling any new engine products this year, and is showcasing the latest technologies that will be incorporated on its next two commercial engines preparing to enter service, according to industry experts.
LEAP, a product of West Chester Twp.-based CFM International, a 50-50 venture between GE and Snecma (a division of Safran), is set to be delivered to the first airline customer next year. It will be the first commercial jet engine to contain an additively manufactured part in a critical area as well as materials made from ceramic matrix composites, according to CFM. The new technologies mean the engine will be lighter than traditional materials and able to withstand hotter temperatures, which will improve fuel efficiency.
“The major air shows represent a great opportunity to showcase the progress we have made over the past year and give a glimpse of what we are looking at for the future,” said CFM spokeswoman Jamie Jewell in an email.
Meanwhile, the GE9X, scheduled to make its debut in 2020, will spread additively produced, also known as 3-D manufactured, parts and ceramic matrix composite materials to more parts of the engine, company officials say.
Here at home, plans are to open a previously-announced Additive Technology Center in West Chester Twp. in August. The opening date was part of GE Aviation’s presentation materials for Monday. Research and development activities into 3-D manufacturing will be consolidated into a single West Chester Twp. site on Windisch Road. Currently, the company’s 3-D manufacturing activities are spread across multiple locations in Greater Cincinnati.
At the new center, new engine parts made using the manufacturing process, which layers material into shape, will be tested.
Altogether, GE Aviation, which is headquartered in Evendale in suburban Cincinnati, and CFM employ more than 9,000 people in Southwest Ohio.