The signals are weak, of course but they are there. The Airbus design offices would be working on something other than the decarbonized aircraft. So, is that a real or fake information?
A note from the United States Court of Appeals
It was an opinion note from the US Court of Appeals in a legal dispute between General Electric and Raytheon, now the parent company of rival engine manufacturer Pratt and Whitney, over patents, that attracted the interest of the Bloomberg agency. The case dates back to 2014, when Pratt and Whitney filed a patent entitled "Gas Turbine Engine with Low Stage Count Low-Pressure Turbine". Two years later, General Electric challenged the patent on the grounds that the "protected" technologies were in fact already widely used in aircraft engines. However, the very recent December memo from the U.S. Court of Appeals reveals that "Airbus has asked General Electric to develop a new engine for a single-aisle aircraft under development". As Bloomberg indicates, it is not specified "whether this new engine would be intended for an existing aircraft or for a new aircraft".
Back to normal ?
Questioned by Bloomberg, General Electric answered "that it constantly reviewed with all the aircraft manufacturers, Airbus and Boeing included, all the technological tracks envisaged for the motorization of new generation aircraft and that the detail of these discussions was confidential". For its part, Airbus says it is "in a permanent dialogue with engine manufacturers on technological advances and innovations in propulsion" and that "many studies are underway, but not all of them will be completed". Bloomberg asked an analyst for his point of view, and he offered several suggestions, including "an Airbus maneuver to continue to put pressure on Boeing," which had its 220- to 260-seat aircraft project to "occupy the middle of the market," that is, the space between single-aisle and dual-aisle aircraft that the Airbus A321LR and A321XLR now occupy with nearly 400 sales to their credit.
A carbon wing for the Airbus A320neo family?
It's possible that Bloomberg got "carried away" for nothing, especially since the legal dispute between the two American engine manufacturers actually dates back to the early days of the Pratt & Whitney PW1100 and CFM Leap-X. Except that in a recent forward-looking note on Airbus, Jefferies Bank evokes in black and white the scenario that in the face of European government pressure on the issue of CO2 emissions, it cannot be excluded that the European manufacturer will not launch "new incremental technological improvements" on existing aircraft. And to evoke an Airbus A350neo and above all a carbon wing designed and developed for the A321neo and perhaps the A320neo". Which would call for new engines?