Aerospace industry analyst Scott Hamilton claims in a report for ‘Commercial Aviation Online’ that Airbus is soon to announce a winglet option for the A320, while both Boeing and Airbus have been investigating reengining options for the A320 and 737 respectively.
According to Hamilton, who cites anonymous sources at Airbus, the manufacturer is set to announce within weeks that it plans to start offering winglets as an option on new aircraft from 2012 or 2013. Airbus has tested winglet designs from Aviation Partners as well as its own ‘charlet’ design which are aimed at reducing fuel burn between two to four per cent. Hamilton’s report also claims that the option will first be made available on the A321 to help boost its range and make it more competitive against the Boeing 737-900ER.
Similarly, Hamilton also reports that Airbus is to decide at the end of 2010 whether to pursue a re-engining program for the A320 Family, with the manufacturer understood to have been in talks with Pratt & Whitney, IAE and CFM International on possible options. Interestingly, the report claims that CFM may be able to offer its LEAP-X, which is also being touted for a 737 reengining program. CAO claims that CFM is prepared to accelerate development on the LEAP-X engine, which was planned for certification in 2016 to instead allow for reengining programs on the 737 and A320 from 2015, rather than the replacement programs which would not commence until 2018-2020.
‘CAO’ also notes that CFM may be accelerating its timetable on the LEAP-W program to meet the needs of the Comac C919 aircraft, which is planned to make its first flight in 2014 with a 2016 entry into service, and has committed to providing the new generation engine to meet that timeline.