by Edward Nebinger, Forecast International.
We are pleased to present a brief summary of the latest forecast information on the world’s aviation gas turbines. This information has been derived directly from the Aviation Gas Turbine module of Forecast International’s revolutionary Platinum Forecast System® 2.0, the only one of its type worldwide.
Over the next 15 years and beyond, the market for aviation gas turbines of all types will be one of staggering proportions! That market is being driven by an even more impressive aircraft production market comprising three major re-equipment cycles that are taking place during the same timeframe. Specifically, this involves an incredible demand cycle for new airliners of many types, a booming market for new business jets and, on the military side, a replacement cycle for aging fighter and fighter-bomber aircraft.
There is an interesting aspect of the symbiotic relationship between aircraft and engines. While the latter comprise major components of new airplanes, the availability of advanced new gas turbine engines has, in fact, been one of the major stimuli in the development and production of a whole crop of new advanced-design aircraft of many types. Over the past dozen or more years, the makers of gas turbines have introduced a succession of dramatic breakthroughs in technology, resulting in increased maintainability and reliability, better thrust-to-weight ratios, and almost unbelievable reductions in specific fuel consumption. These factors, combined with increased usage of synthetic materials, have enabled the airframers to capitalize on the weight savings achieved and produce new designs with higher passenger capabilities and much greater range, while also incorporating enhanced safety features.
The Aviation Gas Turbine module of our Platinum Forecast System incorporates forecasts for every projected airframe of each and every type worldwide, and converts them into a demand curve for each of the respective engine types, including installed on-the-wing power, plus pipeline spares in the form of whole engines or equivalent sets of components.
Let us look initially at where the total aviation gas turbine market has come from and where it is headed over the next 15 years. Figure 1 traces historical production over the past 10 years and sums it up at just over $508 billion in constant FY16 dollars. However, by the same yardstick, our forecasts for the 2016-2030 period call for an incredible production value of $1.237 trillion – almost 2-½ times greater! Our analysts have a high level of confidence level in the accuracy of these forecasts, as a great many of them are based upon orders and options for new aircraft already on the books, with more being placed daily.
Examining this market in terms of the types of gas turbines that it will comprise, Figures 2 and 3 demonstrate clearly that turbofans will be the dominant type of engines produced, as they will power most of the airliners, all of the business jets and, coupled with thrust-augmenting afterburners, the very high-performance fighters of the future. Turboshafts now power all rotorcraft except a few at the very light end of the spectrum that still employ pistons. Also, there is still a niche market for turboprops to power some regional airliners and military special purpose aircraft, which have need of the enhanced short-field capabilities provided by turboprops or, in some cases, the slow-speed loitering capability they provide. Finally, there is still a niche market for turbojets, which power missiles of many types as well as some target drones.
TURBOFANS – KING OF THE MARKET
Because advanced turbofans will represent such a large part of the market over the next 15 years and beyond, we have broken out a separate set of figures to provide perspective on this segment.
Figure 4 profiles the forecast trend for turbofan engines of all sizes. As shown in Figures 2 and 3, turbofans will represent almost 46 percent of the units produced, but, because many of them are very large and costly engines, they will comprise some 92 percent of the value, certainly the lion’s share. The combined forecast of the turbofan market through 2030 will total an incredible $1.148 trillion in constant FY16 dollars!
Figures 5 and 6 provide some interesting perspective on the market leaders in the turbofan race, in units and value of production, respectively.
CFM International, a partnership between GE and the French firm Safran, will be the nominal market leader with nearly 35 percent of the value of production. CFM International is just winding up an incredible run of its highly successful CFM56 fan, which powers many thousands of Boeing and Airbus single-aisle twins. It is being followed by its even more efficient LEAP-1 engine that will power a great many Airbus NEO upgrades and conversions, and that has also been selected for 737 MAX single-aisle airliners.
Per Figure 6, Pratt & Whitney will capture almost 21 percent of the market value with production of the F135 engine that will power the F-35 Advanced Tactical Fighter, and also declining production of F100 engines for F-16s. Production of the F-35 will continue for over 20 years and involve substantial U.S. orders as well as many international sales. Pratt’s PW1000 geared turbofan has also been selected as alternate power for A319, A320 and A321 NEO single-aisle airliners. This and production of several other engines to power a variety of business jets and civil transports will bring Pratt’s total forecast production value to almost $239 billion, not counting spare parts and service markets.
Among the big market leaders, Rolls-Royce will accrue 18.6 percent of the value through 2030 with production in the U.K., Germany and the U.S. Rolls’ forecast production of turbofans will total $213.2 billion, of which the highest portion, approximately $190 billion, will be from U.K. facilities that will produce primarily its very reliable Trent engines to power large Airbus and Boeing transports, as well as some large business jets.
GE Aviation will accrue 18+ percent of the turbofan market value, with relatively high-thrust power for a variety of civil transports from several manufacturers, and will also provide F110, F404, and F414 engines to power current-generation fighters in dwindling production. Therefore, when considering this production, combined with its portion of the CFM market, it must be concluded that GE will be the major beneficiary of the booming turbofan market.
All told, the production of aviation gas turbines, largely turbofans, will represent a dynamic and growing segment of worldwide industry throughout the forecast period and beyond. Without question, this is the age of gas turbine power, not only for aerospace, but for land and sea applications of many types. For the latter market, Forecast International provides a separate Platinum module titled “Industrial & Marine Turbine Forecast, Gas & Steam.”
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