Much of the recent focus on engine technology has been on the "will they, won’t they" decision on new technology engines for the A320 and B737. Airbus and Boeing are still undecided as to whether they will adopt new engines for the aircraft, despite several influential airlines calling for new engines. In the background to this, Rolls-Royce has quietly been making progress on new engine technology.
Yesterday, the company celebrated the successful running of the latest core engine build in its E3E (efficiency, environment, economy) two-shaft research programme. Rolls-Royce expects the technologies to reduce fuel burn and CO2 emissions by 15%, compared with similar engines in service.
This is similar to what General Electric/Snecma and Pratt & Whitney claim they are achieving with their new engines, the CFM International Leap-X and the P&W 1000G. The Leap-X has already been selected by COMAC for its C919, while the 1000G will be used on the Bombardier CSeries, the Mitsubishi Regional Jet and the Irkut MS-21, all of which are under development.
The E3E technology is paving the way for Rolls-Royce’s new series of turbofan engines, the RB282, designed for business jets and narrowbody aircraft.
Rolls-Royce's shares were up 2.7% yesterday.
Elsewhere in the aviation supply chain, World Fuel Services' shares rose 4.9% yesterday, the third consecutive day of gains for the company. The rise comes after sharp falls last week. The company's stock has been volatile recently. The shares briefly traded at an all-time high of USD30.32 per share in late Apr-2010. However, a solid if unspectacular performance in its latest quarterly results (announced early May-2010) saw the company's stock drop below USD25 per share last week.
Selected Aviation suppliers’ daily share price movements (% change): 27-May-2010