Honeywell International Corporation, Aerospace Industry Department
Honeywell established the Aerospace Industry Department in 1986 after acquiring Sperry Aerospace. The department relies on technical materials from the original Sperry Aerospace Company, bolstered by increased investment from Honeywell International. Currently overseeing more than 20 companies engaged in aerospace, automation control systems, specialty materials, and power, it holds a leading position as an integrated manufacturer in the aerospace industry globally.
At Honeywell’s Aerospace Industry Department, executives from the Marketing and Technology Departments convened to discuss the issue of the China Commercial Aircraft Manufacturing Company’s order.
“The marketing director noted, ‘Anderson Fergus’s information clearly indicates that Red Letter Group’s materials department has taken control of large-scale manufacturing and coating technology for new carbon fiber composite materials. This section of our order involves sales of more than 30 million US dollars and is ready for cancellation.’
“This represents a significant loss; it will reduce aviation materials sales in China by a quarter,” added the deputy marketing director.
“The deputy director of the marketing department expressed concern, stating, ‘What worries me most is that China Commercial Aircraft Manufacturing Co., Ltd. has also begun manufacturing and selling this material. Their manufacturing speed surpasses ours, their costs are lower, and they will soon compete with us globally.'”
“The director of the technical department proposed, ‘I suggest applying for a research and development fund of 1.5 billion U.S. dollars to invest in new carbon fiber composite materials and laying machines.’
“‘Await approval from higher authorities,’ nodded a high-level senior.
“The marketing director emphasized, ‘Maximizing our interests before Red Letter Group completely invades the aviation materials field is crucial; we can’t simply let go of this order!’
“The director of the technology department suggested, ‘Aren’t they seeking our assistance in engine blade material manufacturing technology? We could sell them some technical materials at a high price, less than a few hundred million dollars.'”
“‘This is one of our core technical materials; can we sell it to them?’ questioned the marketing director.
“‘We won’t sell the most core information, but we can sell some insignificant technical information. Given Red Letter Group’s technical strength, they could develop it in a few years, so it’s better to sell it early and make a profit,’ stated the technology director.
“The team reported, ‘Rolls-Royce in the United Kingdom is also in contact with China Commercial Aircraft Manufacturing Company. If they sell technical information to the Chinese, we’ll lose this opportunity.’
“Rolls-Royce, UK – Royce Company, an aviation technology giant specializing in aero engines after the brand split, stands among the world’s top three aero engine manufacturers alongside the United States General Electric Company and the US Pratt & Whitney company!
“‘I support this proposal; it should also be submitted to the board of directors with the application for research and development funds.’
“Per ‘Honeywell Company Regulations,’ approval from the board of directors is essential for such commercial activities involving technology sales and hundreds of millions of dollars.”
China Commercial Aircraft Manufacturing Company
Lu Zixin, accompanied by Peng Zhengge and Gao Wei, visited their aero engine research group within the China Commercial Aircraft Manufacturing Company.
Gao Wei, aside from directing the Institute of Aeronautical Materials, also serves as the chief designer of commercial aircraft engineering. He introduced, ‘Aero engines are arguably among the most complex engineering machines in human history! Currently, the engines we’ve produced for the commercial aircraft C919 are all purchased foreign products.’
Regarding the manufacturing of aero engines, Gao Wei highlighted, ‘The military has provided substantial support. Merely for the development of engine engineering machines, we’ve spent over 10 billion Chinese coins. However, we’re still far behind in core aircraft technology compared to foreign counterparts.’
Lu Zixin concurred deeply, having acquired relevant information. He noted, ‘Research and development for aero engines account for about 30% of total aircraft development. While this applies to commercial aircraft engines for civilian use, developing engines for military aircraft proves even more challenging. The most recent US military aircraft aero engine has been under development for over ten years, with research and development expenditure nearing 8 billion US dollars. It’s no longer just a business competition; it’s a technology and arms competition between countries.’
Recognizing their limitation in studying high-performance military aviation engines, they focus on solving civil aviation challenges first.
Continuing, Gao Wei added, ‘Let’s not dwell on the overall structural issues. Just an engine blade poses significant challenges. Over the past six months, our Institute of Aeronautical Materials has undertaken a major project to address the problem of low-pressure turbine engine blade materials.’
Zhang Ming interjected, ‘I observed this in the research institute. Are you preparing to manufacture titanium-aluminum blades?’
Gao Wei affirmed, ‘Yes, it’s titanium aluminum alloy material. This alloy matches the strength and stability of traditional nickel-based alloys but with only half the density, potentially improving fuel efficiency by 20%.’
Given the significant impact on commercial airlines’ expenses, an improvement in fuel efficiency by 20% would make such engines highly desirable in the airline industry.
Peng Zhengge then mentioned, ‘The vice president of Rolls Royce in the United Kingdom contacted us a few days ago to support our titanium-aluminum alloy blade manufacturing technology. However, the cost stands at 50 million euros!’
This amount, nearly 400 million Chinese coins as per the current exchange rate, makes it unclear how much technical support is embedded in the cost.
Surprisingly, Anderson informed them today that Honeywell is also willing to support their blade material technology, offering a price lower than Rolls-Royce’s.
Lu Zixin suggested, ‘I think you can reject them outright.’
Peng Zhengge questioned, ‘Why? I believe we can let them compete and lower the price. Even if we spend 200 or 300 million Chinese coins to procure this technology, it’s worthwhile compared to our R&D investment.’
Zhang Ming intervened, ‘Because we can resolve this minor issue, rejecting them is a viable option, General Peng.’
Gao Wei inquired, ‘Professor Zhang, can you address the issue of low-pressure turbine engine blade flat material?’
Zhang Ming confidently responded, ‘Certainly, it involves the use of titanium aluminum alloy. The Red Letter material research center already possesses relevant technical reserves.’ In truth, Lu Zixin had acquired this material technology from Bruce Wayne previously
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