Japanese firms to join Airbus engine project: report

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Three major Japanese engineering firms, IHI Corp, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, and Kawasaki Heavy Industries will help develop a new engine for Airbus, a report said Sunday.

The trio will bring their expertise in carbon fibre technology to produce the world's first commercial aircraft with an engine made from the strong and lightweight material, the Nikkei newspaper said.

The Japanese firms will join an an international team led by Pratt & Whitney of the US and MTU Aero Engines of Germany, tasked with developing the engine for the European aircraft manufacturer.

The engine will be for the Airbus A320neo passenger aircraft, scheduled to go into commercial operation from 2016.

Aircraft engines are typically made of titanium. It is believed that the use of carbon fibre, which is lighter, will enhance fuel efficiency by roughly 10 percent, the Nikkei said.

© 2011 AFP

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