Airbus 320 – Engines

Engines – The Heart of an Airplane

Principle of a Jet Engine

The principle of a Jet Engine is basically the same as that of a Piston Engine, both of them propel a mass of air backwards. But, a Jet Engine propels relatively a small mass of air with greater velocity at a constant pressure. 

Turbofan Engine

The first part of the Turbofan Engine is the fan. It’s the same part that you see when you’re looking at a Jet Engine.

The air moves through two parts of the engine. Some of the air is directed into the engine’s core, where the combustion will occur, the rest of the air, called “bypass air”, is moved around the outside of the engine core through a duct. This bypass air produces additional thrust, cools the engine, and reduces engine noise by blanketing the exhaust air that is exiting the engine. In today’s modern turbofans, bypass air produces the majority of an engine’s thrust.

The Bypass Ratio (BPR) of a Turbofan Engine is the ratio between the mass flow-rate of the bypass stream to the mass flow-rate entering the core. The ratio 5:1 or greater is considered as a high bypass ratio.

Working of a Turbofan Engine

The major components of Turbofan Engine are: 

  • Low and high pressure compressor: Responsible for providing air at a high pressure and temperature for a suitable combustion.
  • Combustion chamber: The combustion chamber is fed with high pressure air by the Compression System. The combustor then further, mixes this air with the fuel and then ignites it.  
  • Turbine: Turbines extract energy from the hot gases resulting from combustion, and further drives the compressors as they both are attached to the same shaft. (Each compressor has it’s own Turbine)
  • Exhaust: The cold and hot air are mixed together and ejected out creating Thrust.
Airbus 320 – Engines Aviatorsbuzz
Source: Wikipedia

80 percent of the air (cold air) is bypassed from the engine core, responsible for producing the maximum amount of thrust.

A320 Engines:

  • The A320 series are fitted with High Bypass Turbofan Engines
  • These Engines are able to produce 25,000 – 30, 000 pounds of thrust!
  • The suppliers providing Turbofan engines for the A320 series are:
    • CFM International with the CFM56 and LEAP1A
    • International Aero Engines offering its V2500, and
    • Pratt & Whitney’s PW6000
Airbus 320 – Engines Aviatorsbuzz

The CFM Engines are the only engines that can power every model of the A320 family with one bill of materials .The engine’s broad-based market acceptance has been because of its simple, rugged architecture which gives it the highest reliability, durability, and reparability in its class.

Each power-plant has a FADEC (Full Authority Digital Engine Control System) which aids in complete engine management such as: Control of the Gas Generator, Automatic Engine Start, Thrust Reverser Control and Fuel Recirculation System.

A320 NEO

The A320neo (New Engine Option) is one of many upgrades introduced by Airbus as the world’s most advanced and fuel-efficient single-aisle aircraft family.

A320neo engines are slightly bigger than CEO which means it’s able to carry more fuel and fly a longer distance.

Airbus originally had small triangle wingtips on the A320, which functionally worked but actually increased drag. By copying Boeing and including a big curved wingtip called a ‘sharklet’, Airbus was able to massively increase fuel efficiency by upto 7%, fit more passengers and fly a little faster.

It goes without saying that the major improvement is the different & better engine. The NEO – New Engine Option is more fuel efficient, quieter, cost efficient, and pushes the distance.

Feel free to ask any questions regarding the A320 Engines in the comment section below!

Airbus 320 – Engines Aviatorsbuzz
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Follow our TechTalks with Ria Maini and Kartik Bhatnagar, both commercial pilots, rated and endorsed on the A320. Although they recently stepped into their aviation career, nothing has stopped them from taking their knowledge to the next level, with successful experience in coaching on the subject of A320’s for aspiring pilots and a memory refresh for the experienced ones. Curiosity, passion for flying and avionics led them to start "A320 Trivia", and their endeavour has been to share their knowledge to benefit all aviation enthusiasts and pilots, and to highlight key dynamics of the versatile aircraft. You are welcome to share your valuable inputs and further enable this page, to be an expert guide/reference, polestar for all to follow. If you are interested in discovering new and mind boggling facts on the aircraft & technical general, catch up on our weekly blog!


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