Report: IHI, Mitsubishi Heavy and Kawasaki Heavy to Collaborate to Increase Small Passenger Jet Engine Efficiency By 30%
The Nikkei reports that IHI Corp., Mitsubishii Heavy Industries Ltd. and Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. plan to jointly develop technology to boost the fuel efficiency of engines for small passenger jets by up to 30%. The companies then would use the technology to build an advanced engine in partnership with American and British firms.
The effort will center around lightweight materials and a retooled engine design. Specifically, carbon fiber, which weighs significantly less than metal, will be used to make core parts. And the fan, typically installed at the front of engines, will be moved to the back, in hopes of generating thrust more efficiently.
The engine would serve as a replacement for the V2500 jet engine that the three firms developed with such players as Rolls-Royce Plc. of the UK and Pratt & Whitney of the US in the late 1980s. The Japanese companies had a combined 23% stake in that project.
More than 4,500 V2500 engines have been sold, primarily for use in the Airbus A320.