A few months ago I posted a blog about how airlines could freshen up the cabins of their current-model Airbus and Boeing narrowbodies with new twin-aisle configurations.
Well, the concept of a twin-aisle narrowbody is back in the fray, but this time, for new-design aircraft.
Airlines – particularly some European airlines – are understood to be pressing Airbus and Boeing to include lightweight, twin-aisle narrowbodies in their narrowbody replacement plans.
Of course, it might take a while for Airbus and Boeing to define their narrowbody successors, since both airframers are considering re-engining the A320 and 737, respectively.
But maybe a twin-aisle narrowbody would be a more appropriate replacement for the Boeing 757 anyways.
Still, the push for a twin-aisle narrowbody intrigues.
And the intrigue doesn’t stop at airlines. Growing interest in the development of a new lightweight, twin-aisle narrowbody is among the factors driving Pratt & Whitney to ensure its PurePower geared turbofan (GTF) engine can provide as much as 40,000lb of thrust.
The GTF has already been selected by Bombardier to power the 110/130-seat CSeries and by Mitsubishi to power the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ). The CSeries will be powered with the 20,000lb-24,000lb thrust class PurePower PW1000G.
Yet, one of the reasons why Pratt & Whitney has “gone as high as 40,000lb of thrust is” that there are “airlines out there looking for a light twin”, P&W vice-president next generation product family Bob Saia told me yesterday during an exclusive interview in Dallas, where the engine manufacturer held a customer forum to exhibit some of its GTF hardware (I do have a regional aircraft manufacturing beat you know!) .
These airlines are interested in an aircraft with an “[Airbus] A320, A321 seating capacity, so 170 to 220 seating capacity” that offers a twin-aisle configuration, says Saia.
He adds: “The reason for the twin aisle was two-fold – cabin comfort, but another is can you turn the aircraft around faster in terms of boarding and de-boarding.”