Jon Beatty, president and CEO of engine-maker IAE, is upbeat about his company’s Farnborough show presence – for three reasons: “The huge success we’re enjoying with the IAE SelectOne product; secondly we’ll be talking about the next generation of engines to power the world’s single-aisle aircraft; and thirdly, we’ll be celebrating our 25th birthday,” he says
IAE’s V2500 engine first saw the light of day a quarter of a century ago when Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce (with 32.5% each) along with Japanese Aero Engines Corporation (23%) and Germany’s MTU Aero Engines (12%) got together to design an engine that was to become one of the biggest commercial engine success stories of the past 25 years.
Now, with around 50% of the Airbus A320-family single-aisle market, the V2500 family of engines is being upgraded with enhanced technology marketed by IAE under the SelectOne title, launched two years ago and due for certification in Q3 2008. SelectOne is designed to give around a 1% improvement in fuel burn – crucial in these days of high kerosene prices – and a minimum of 20% enhancement to time-on-wing, and the technology is capable of retrofitted to earlier engines.
When asked whether he found it confusing that IAE’s major shareholders appear to be going down different routes for the next generation of engines (P&W’s GTF and Rolls-Royce’s open rotor) Beatty says he’s not worried at all.
“If nobody was developing the technology, then I’d be worried. Both our major shareholders have suites of technologies and as always they’re a compromise between emissions, noise and fuel-burn. I want the best of all three – along with low maintenance costs - so it remains to be seen which technology emerges as the best for the next generation of engines.”
IAE now has 155 customers around the globe and the company builds an engine a day with a backlog of more than 2,000 stretching forward to 2016. Beatty says the general ‘softening’ of the global economy hasn’t impacted business to any great extent, although he concedes that the “unprecedented sales years of 2006 and 2007 are unlikely to be repeated in the short term”.
Source: Flight International