A widebody aircraft is one that has a fuselage wide enough to accommodate two aisles in the cabin. The advent of twin-aisle jets revolutionized passenger air travel: With increased capacity dramatically slashing operating costs per passenger, widebody aircraft opened up a whole new range of intercontinental air travel possibilities to an ever-increasing general public previously unable to afford to take to the skies.
Airlines generally operate widebody jets on long-haul routes with high volumes of passenger traffic. Given that carriers can operate widebodies efficiently only if they can achieve high load factors, airframers have developed extensive portfolios of aircraft models and variants differing in size and range capabilities. The demands placed on the engines powering widebody jets are as diverse as the markets in which they are operated.
As a leading player in the global engine industry, MTU holds major stakes in a whole host of widebody engine programs. Airlines bet on the CF6, for instance, to power their Airbus A330s or Boeing 767s, the GEnx for their Boeing Dreamliners and new Boeing 747-8s, the GP7000 for their A380s, and the PW4000 Growth for certain Boeing 777 variants.
MTU has been a risk-and-revenue sharing partner in this GE Aviation engine program since 1971, when the company produced the first parts for the CF6-50. In the meantime, MTU manufactures parts for the entire CF6 family (CF6-6, CF6-80A, -80C, -80E). The CF6 is a two-shaft turbofan which powers medium- to long-haul Airbus and Boeing wide-body aircraft.