At the recently concluded EADS Global Investor Forum 2010, John Leahy the chief operating officer for Airbus S.A.S. the commercial airframe manufacturer owned by the consortium revealed plans on its proposed New Engine Option (NEO) for its ultra-popular A320 family of aircraft.
In this slide, Mr. Leahy unveils an artistic impression of the re-engined single-aisle narrow body airliner and outlines a targeted efficiency gain in fuel burn of up to 15% over the current generation of A320s. This is in addition to the new Sharklets which Airbus is scheduled to introduce in 2012 which are expected to deliver 3.5% improvement in fuel burn and also improved aircraft performance and noise levels.
The NEO will use high bypass ratio engines with ratios increasing from the current five to between nine and twelve. To achieve this fan diameters will increase from around 64 inches (1.626m) to 81 inches (2.057m). Due to taller under-carriage this is an option the A320 can consider, but its competitor the Boeing 737NG with its much lower wing height will find difficult to do.
The logo noticeably missing, is that of International Aero Engines (IAE) (a consortium of Pratt & Whitney, Rolls Royce, MTU Aero Engines and Japanese Aero Engines Corporation currently offering the V2500 engines).
In India, A320s of Air India and GoAir are powered by CFM engines while those of IndiGo and Kingfisher are powered by the V2500.
During his presentation, Leahy does sound very optimistic about the Airbus board going ahead with the NEO plan. A similar optimism was sounded by Tom Enders, the CEO during his recent visit to India.
The overall presentation on Airbus commercial aircraft does make very interesting reading and shows the competitive position that Airbus enjoys against arch-rival Boeing.
Some interesting analyses are on page 6 (Airbus lags Boeing on the units of aircraft orders but leads Boeing on the revenue value of orders), on page 7 (lags Boeing in the single aisle segment but leads in all others), slides 8~11 document the financial situation with airlines across the world.