General Electric Company (NYSE: GE) and Safran SA have unveiled plans to create an open-bladed jet engine that can reduce fuel use and carbon emissions by 20% as they extend their CFM International JV by a decade to 2050.
CFM to manufacture new jet engine by mid-2030s
Under their CFM joint venture, GE Aviation and Safran manufacture some of the most widely used airplane engines. The firms have created a new CFM Rise program that will design and test the new tech that might enter service in the mid-2030s. The “RISE” engine will be a successor of the “LEAP” model currently used in Airbus A32neo and Boeing 737 MAX, featuring visible fan blades called the open rotor.
The aerospace industry accounts for around 2% of worldwide carbon emissions. Airplane makers and carriers have been trying to find ways of cutting that while maintaining a balance with the strong demand that was there before the pandemic.
Airbus and Boeing working towards zero-emission
The new engine contains hybrid-electric propulsion and can run on 100% sustainable fuel or hydrogen, which is a preferable energy source by Airbus for future models. Sources indicate that Boeing is considering replacing its large and long-range single-aisle, which could pave the way for MAX replacement. The company deferred the decision on moving to new techs, such as the open-rotor hybrid propulsion.
John Slattery, the CEO of GE Aviation, said that CFM is ready to compete with whichever jet that launches and has challenged rivals to compete with tech. Slattery said, “If Boeing or any airframer launches a platform and the business case makes sense for us, then we will present our best aggregate technologies that we have at that moment in time.”
Airbus, which is working towards a zero-carbon emission plane by 2035, welcomed the idea of the new engine. The company said that it expects the engine to be agnostic regarding fuel type.