Airbus and Boeing are unlikely to kill either the 737NG or the A320 as long as the airplanes are selling as briskly as they are, but that isn't stopping engine manufacturers from mounting aggressive technology development programs.
In Singapore, Pratt & Whitney is pushing ahead aggressively on geared turbofans, the same direction in which it has been heading for two decades. Commercial Engines President Steve Heath said that "the basic engine [design] concept has not changed" since the introduction of high-bypass turbofans. There has been good progress increasing overall component efficiency, "but there has been no step-change in propulsive efficiency."
More than ever before, the complete propulsion package for a GTF--or for whatever is decided upon for the new-era single-aisle--must be put together in concert. Associated component manufacturers, such as strut and nacelle makers, are saying clearly that they need to know the target engine configuration in the next 12-18 months in order to keep with a timeline that could have a new engine package ready by 2015, the earliest date some believe the new-era single-aisle might be required, and Heath agrees these are the time leaders.
Recently, MTU and Pratt announced a compressor readiness program for this new generation of powerplants, with the compressor sized just right for an engine in the 24,000-40,000-lb.-thrust band seen as appropriate for a GTF production engine, Heath said.
Read more at More http://www.atwonline.com/news/story.html?storyID=4146