What engines will power our airliners in 10 to 30 years? In two parts we investigate what engine makers, universities and research agencies have in store.
This month is the third anniversary of the entry into service of Pratt & Whitney’s Geared Turbofan on the Airbus A320neo. The GTF is seen by many as the next step in civil aero engine technology. But what’s the next step and by whom? Looking into the next decade there will probably be just a handful of clean-sheet airliners entering service: the Chinese/Russian CR929 and Boeing’s New Middle Market aircraft or 797. So it’s not airframe designs that drive new engine technology. That seems to come more from engine makers themselves, pushed by rule-makers and the political (and public…) debate on climate change, reduction of emissions and noise pollution.