International Aero Engines continues to study product improvements to its V2500 narrowbody engine, as the current 1% fuel burn improvement introduced in the SelectOne upgrade was recently validated by Airbus.

IAE chief executive Jon Beatty says the debut of a next-generation narrowbody from Airbus and Boeing continues to move right into the 2016-20 timeframe, so V2500 will get further attention. "We're are looking at the next product upgrade to SelectOne," he says.

Fuel burn improvements and time-on-wing continue to be the main thrust for future upgrades. Beatty says fuel prices have risen by 32% since April, and concerns over the increases are again becoming a greater reality.

No definitive timeframe exists for introduction of future upgrades, but IAE is working with its primary original equipment manufacturer Airbus "to talk about things we can do together", Beatty says. Opting not to disclose details, he does explain there are a couple of elements IAE could introduce quickly.

IAE launched SelectOne in 2005 and currently 20 of the company's airline customers are operating the V2500 SelectOne powerplants on 50 aircraft. Roughly 20-30 engines have been retrofitted to the SelectOne standard.

Beatty continues to believe that IAE's major shareholders Rolls-Royce and Pratt & Whitney will use IAE as the outlet to produce a powerplant for the next-generation narrowbody from the two major airframers.

As P&W and R-R appear to take different approaches to a potential engine design through the geared-turbofan PW1000G and a potential advanced three-shaft engine, Beatty notes that 25 years ago the two companies also opted for different paths to powerplant design.

He also says it is premature to firm up any kind of architecture without direction from the major airframers. Beatty says he continues to tell P&W and R-R to keep spending on technology and development to be brought together through IAE.

Source: Flight International