Heterogeneous Catalyst Reactor Technology Produces High-Quality Biodiesel with No Aqueous Waste Stream; Lower Capital and Operating Costs
Alaska Native Corporation Proposes Underground Coal Gasification Project with Carbon Capture for Power Generation

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.



30% wow - 5% would be a big deal.

30% WOW
Oh, OK,- UP TO.

The effort will center around lightweight materials, carbon fiber - lighter is really good, but lighter is not a more fuel efficient engine.

The fan will be moved to the back in hopes of generating thrust more efficiently.

One strange press release.


Toyota with 50+ mpg hybrids and now a Japanese JV to come up with 30% gain in Jet engine efficiency? That would represent major fossil fuel savings when applied to the world fleet.
To re-engine an existing plane may be whorthwhile.

Hope that our Jet engine manufactures (GE, Pratt and Whitney and Rolls Royce) will join in the race and try to do as well.

Roger Pham

Reading between the lines, it seems that very stiff and light materials like carbon fiber will result in tighter clearance between the compressor blades and housing, resulting in less leakage loss. Furthermore, light-weight compressor blade will result in less gyroscopic forces on the bearings, allowing smaller bearings and lower-vicosity oil, resulting in less friction loss.

Finally, putting the fan in the rear will significantly reduce the distance that high-speed air has to travel from the fan to the exhaust duct, further resulting in gain in efficiency. In earlier engines with low-bypass ratio, this is not worthwhile due to the fan ingesting turbulence generated from the turbine core section in the front, but, with high to ultra-high bypass ratio engine, the turbine core will be much smaller in proportion to the fan, and the turbulent generated therefrom will be quite neglibible with proper aerodynamic streamlining design.


The lighter an aircraft the less fuel is consumed to go a given distance.

Any weight that is shed be it engine or airframe means improved efficiency.


Wonder how Mitsubishi will get around the heat generated by the compressor if they use carbon fiber materials for the vanes and blades. Temperatures can easily reach 500 degrees F in the last stages of the compressor. This would be quite high for the resins used in the manufacture of these components.

Roger Pham

May be they won't use carbon fiber material in the last stages of the compressor. The last few stages are much smaller in size, hence won't benefit much from carbon fiber material, anyway. GE already made the fan from carbon fiber composite.


GE's bread and butter is large passenger jet engines. I believe they too have made similar claims about the most recent engines they have produced for the 787 Dreamliner.

I don't know what GE is doing in the small passenger jet engine market, but I don't think they are too worried nor should they be admonished for not "being in the race" as they already have their greater efficiency engines in production (new version of 747...since the Dreamliner isn't flying yet).

The comments to this entry are closed.