International Aero Engines (IAE) is working to cut the operating cost of its V2500 powerplant by more than 20%, as part of the company's short-term development plans

The move is primarily in response to growing pressure from US carriers to drive down costs, says IAE president Barry Ecclestone. He reveals that a programme was initiated in 1995 and that it was hoped to achieve at least a 20% cost reduction within the next 12-18 months.

Measures have included trying to increase the time on-wing of individual engine components, repairing rather than replacing parts, and also extending their service lives.

Attention has been focused mainly on parts in the V2500's hot section, such as the combustion chamber, high-pressure and low-pressure turbines. The life- extension programme has not entailed any changes to the engine's bill of material.

A total of 214 V2500-powered Airbus A320/321s and McDonnell Douglas (MDC) MD-90-30s has been delivered since the engine's entry into service in mid-1989. A V2500A1 fitted to an Air 2000 A320 has achieved the highest on-wing time of 16,300h to date.

In the longer-term, IAE is continuing to look at further developing the V2500 series beyond the existing 105-150kN (23,500-33,000lb)-thrust range for new aircraft applications, according to Ecclestone.

Development of a 150-156kN growth derivative is being considered for a future 200-seat passenger aircraft aimed at beating the Boeing 757. Suitable new airframes would include an MDC proposed MD-XX, a possible further A321 stretch or A310 shrink.

Ecclestone adds that the company is continuing to look at offering a V2500 growth engine to allow it compete against the CFM56 on a 275-285t higher-gross weight version of the Airbus A340, providing that there is "a sound business case for it."

He rules out developing an engine for any airframe that goes beyond a 300t maximum take-off weight, such as the proposed A340-400. That aircraft would need an engine rated at more than 178kN and a larger 1.8-1.9m-wide fan.

Source: Flight International