Andy Douse

An indication of the impact that regional jets are having on the aviation industry came at the show in a market forecast from Rolls-Royce.

The engine manufacturer is predicting a total market in the commercial and corporate aircraft sectors over the next 20 years for 83,000 engines on 34,800 aircraft. It estimates the value of the engines at $350 billion.

Of these aircraft, slightly more than 50% will be for aircraft under the 100-seat level, believes John Cheffins, Rolls-Royce's managing director, airlines. This figure includes corporate aircraft, but previous estimates put the level of sub-100-seat aircraft at just 30%.

"The market points to tremendous opportunities for engine makers," says Cheffins.

In the course of a wide-ranging briefing on its engine ranges, he revealed that the initial development Trent 500 engine, the sole powerplant on the forthcoming Airbus A340-500/600, had substantially exceeded its initially-planned thrust levels.

A second Trent 500 will start testing later this month and four more will follow by the end of the year. The engine is due to enter airline service in early 2002.

The Trent 500 has booked record advance sales for Rolls-Royce, says Cheffins - "well over $5 billion on more than 500 engines".

Source: Flight Daily News