IAE closes on 'SelectThree' launch decision

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International Aero Engines expects to finalise by mid-2012 the configuration for the proposed SelectThree standard of its V2500 turbofan, which is targeted for service-entry in 2015.

SelectOne provided a 1% improvement in fuel burn and 20% increase in time-on-wing compared with the baseline V2500-A5, and approximately 1,000 of these engines are now in service.

SelectTwo was launched in 2011 and is expected to improve fuel burn by a further 0.6%, depending on mission. Compared with SelectOne, it incorporates changes to the air control system - which enables a rescheduling of bleed valves - and other improvements through software changes to the electronic engine control unit. SelectTwo will be available for delivery in 2013, coinciding with the introduction by Airbus of sharklet-equipped A320-family aircraft. As there are no hardware changes, SelectOne engines can be upgraded to SelectTwo standard on-wing.

IAE president Ian Aitken said: "We're looking on the drawing board at an engine called SelectThree and we will be looking at improvements in operability, maintenance cost and performance.

"I'm talking to the engineers but right now I expect to see the outcome of their work in the next month or two. SelectThree has the potential to go into service around 2015."

Unlike SelectTwo, SelectThree is likely to incorporate hardware changes, said Aitken.

"It's hard to speculate right now, but I imagine there will be some changes to the hardware," he said, although an upgrade would be possible during overhaul. "Right now I can't tell you how much it's going to generate in terms of fuel burn and maintenance cost improvement because I've not seen the results coming from the engineers yet," said Aitken.

He added: "We're always looking to improve the product and we will do so over the next 30 years that we're going to be around. We will be investing in SelectThree, and I'm sure there will be a SelectFour. We're talking about [SelectThree] with Airbus and our customers, and I hope that within the next six months we'll be talking about when it's going to go into service."

Aitken said the marriage of the SelectTwo standard of the V2500 with the sharklet-equipped A321 creates a "very attractive aircraft to replace the 757".