General Electric expects the installed base of commercial engines it either builds directly or through joint venture partners to reach 41,000 units by 2017 compared to 34,000 in 2013 as production ramps up to historic highs in the wake of record orders.
Emphasizing the engine maker’s growing dominance in the civil engine sector, GE says the order spree over the 2010-2013 period has driven up the order backlog to $125 billion, of which the bulk – some $96.7 billion, is comprised of service contracts and agreements. Over the course of 2013 alone, GE saw a 24% increase in the rate of engine orders and 22% leap in service contracts.
With all the major new commercial airliner and business jet programs for the bulk of this decade either in development, flight test or initial production, General Electric is digging in for what the company describes as a “serious phase of execution. Plants are being expanded and created as the company faces significant delivery levels in 2014-2016.” With the Leap-1 engine family already launched with CFM partner Snecma for the Airbus A230neo, Boeing 737 MAC and Comac C919, and production increasing for the Genx-1B/2B-powered 787 and 747-8 respectively, GE’s workload is also growing with its selection as sole-engine provider for the recently launched GE9X-powered 777X.
Together with Snecma in CFM, Pratt & Whitney in the Engine Alliance and Honda in the GE-Hondajet business jet engine partnership, the combined tally of GE-only and GE partnered engine deliveries is expected to grow from 2,442 in 2013 to 2,859 in 2016. The bulk of these will be CFM56 engines for the A320 and 737 families, deliveries of which are currently expected to amount to 1,514 in 2014, 1,520 in 2015 and 1,418 in 2016 based on current orders. CFM passed the 25,000th engine milestone in May 2013 and in October delivered the 10,000th CFM56 to Boeing. In December 2013 it delivered the 8,500th engine to Airbus and is on track for 1,700 units per year by 2020 when both Leap and CFM56s will be in production.
Deliveries of the GEnx family continue to build, driven largely by accelerating delivery rates for the 787. Engine production of the GEnx-1B/2B will hit 304 per year in 2016. Sustained production of the CF34 for the Bombardier and Embraer regional jet families also continues to grow with engine deliveries across the family set to rise from 346 in 2013 to 488 in 2016. Production of the GE90 for the current 777 family is set to remain consistent at over 200 per year with deliveries set to reach 227 in 2015 and 2016 in the build up to initial production of the GE9X for the follow-on 777X family. Based on Boeing’s initial launch order book for the new long range twin family, GE currently holds firm orders for 550 GE9X engines.