IAE Engine partnership sees V2500 business continuity for decades


by Chris Kjelgaard

Mar 9, 2023 – 5:01 am

The International Aero Engines (IAE) partnership was founded to mark the 40th anniversary on March 9, 1983, to manufacture the V2500 family of medium to large turbofan engines expects that the V2500 will continue to generate aftermarket business beyond 2045. This is the year to which the cooperation agreement has so far been extended by the IAE partners Pratt & Whitney, Japan Aero Engines Corp., MTU Aero Engines and Pratt & Whitney Aero Engines International.

The aircraft engine program “is in the prime of life, where you dream of an engine program,” said Earl Exum, president of the IAE partnership and vice president of advanced commercial engines at Pratt & Whitney. In addition, he added, it has an impressive record of reliability and will remain in service for many years to come.

The V2500 family, which first entered service in 1989 on an Airbus A320 operated by former Yugoslav charter airline Adria Airways, has flown more than 135 million flights and logged more than 255 million flight hours.

The vast majority of existing V2500s were V2500-A1 and V2500-A5 variants powering A320ceo family jets, but IAE also manufactured the V2500-D5 powering the 116 McDonnell Douglas and Boeing MD-90s. According to Exum, IAE’s largest customer today is American Airlines, which operates 399 A320ceo Family aircraft, including 218 A321s.

According to Exum, the V2500 family’s overall reliability rate is 99.97 percent and its average flight time is more than 20,000 hours, with some engines exceeding 30,000 hours. The in-flight shutdown rate for the V2500-A5 variant powering the A320ceo family – which has dominated V2500 production – is “far better than the Airbus target,” he said. IAE claims a 3 percent fuel efficiency advantage for the V2500-A5 over the competing production engine in the A320ceo family, the CFM56-5B.

However, despite the high operational maturity of the V2500 engine, about 30 percent of all V2500 engines have not yet been introduced to the shop for their first service visits, and about 70 percent of all V2500 engines are less than 15 years old, according to Exum. In addition, the V2500 powers around 60 percent of all 1,784 A321ceos delivered.

The air freight industry particularly favors the A321ceo as the logical successor to the Boeing 757 for passenger-to-freighter conversion. As a result, the aftermarket for the V2500-A5 variant will remain robust for decades to come, Exum said.

IAE has established a global network of 17 maintenance workshops, nine of which are IAE partner facilities, to provide maintenance, repair and overhaul for the V2500 Family engines. Exum tells AIN that IAE views the 17 MRO facilities as “a stable number” for the size of the global V2500 MRO network going forward. “We are at a mature point of growth in store visits – our projections and costs suggest we have the right capacity base” to meet future V2500 MRO needs worldwide, he said.

By IAE’s 40th anniversary, the collaboration has produced more than 7,800 V2500s – nearly the 8,000 that the partnership projected when it was formed. Original IAE partner Rolls-Royce sold its stake to Pratt & Whitney in 2011 for $1.5 billion.

Production of new V2500 engines continues in the form of the 31,000-pound V2500-E5 for the Embraer C-390 Millennium military transport aircraft, operated by the Brazilian Air Force, ordered by the Air Forces of Hungary and Portugal and selected by the Netherlands for one Purchase of five aircraft.

V2500 engine

In addition, IAE continues to produce new replacement V2500 engines for Airbus A320ceo family customers, for both passenger and cargo operations, according to Exum. Existing customers are ordering these engines either to increase their ratio of spares to V2500-A5s in service, or to provide refill engines to replace phased-out V2500s that are being consumed in passenger or — increasingly — cargo operations, he said.

Today, production of replacement V2500s – in the form of standard V2500-A5 SelectTwo engines from current production – continues at an annual rate “in the region of 20”, and IAE expects this rate to be stable at least “over the next few years”. remains. said Exom.

When asked if IAE expects the V2500 to reach the total production of 8,000 engines originally projected by the partnership, he replied: “If I had to bet, I would say yes. Sure, if the C-390 [orderbook and production] meets Embraer’s goals, we’re right there.”

Exum added that each aircraft delivered will come with one or more spare V2500-E5s, as well as its two engines installed, to ensure the C-390 meets its operators’ mission reliability requirements. This means that every C-390 IAE ordered will sell at least three V2500-E5s, helping the V2500 move faster towards the partnership’s original production target.

In addition, he noted that a few more years of producing spare V2500-A5 SelectTwo engines for A320ceo Family aircraft at the current rate would also allow IAE to meet its original 1983 program production forecast.

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