Airbus decides to re-engine A320 family with LEAP-X and PW1100G engines

Airbus has decided to offer the A320 family with upgraded engines for fuel savings, with airlines having a choice of the CFM LEAP-X or Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1100G engines.

Dubbed the A320neo, the aircraft will also incorporate Airbus’s fuel-saving large wing tip devices called Sharklets. The manufacturer will begin deliveries of the A320neo family in spring 2016.

Airbus says the A320neo will deliver fuel savings of up to 15%, which represents up to 3,600 tonnes of CO2 savings annually compared with the current A320 family. Users of the A320neo will also benefit from a double-digit reduction in NOx emissions, reduced engine noise, lower operating costs and up to 500 nm (950 km) more range or two tonnes more payload, adds Airbus, which also sees a market potential of 4,000 A320neo family aircraft over the next 15 years.

Airbus reports that over recent months it has taken the time to carefully assess and weigh up the benefits of the A320neo business case with the allocation of engineering resources needed while at the same time securing the engineering skills required on other programmes.

"Finding the necessary resources for the A320neo wasn’t exactly a walk in the park,” remarked Airbus CEO Tom Enders. “The enabler was to devise a stringent phasing of critical engineering assets throughout our various development programmes and to optimise the management and organisation of all our programmes and R&T projects. Our international engineering centres, suppliers and partners play a big role in this.”

The new engine option is being offered on the A321, A320 and A319 and, says Airbus, will require limited modifications, primarily to the wing and pylon areas. The A320neo will have more than 95% airframe commonality with the standard A320 Family.

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