What is VIGV on Boeing 737? (Variable Inlet Guide Vane)

The Variable Inlet Guide Vane (VIGV) is an important component of the Boeing 737 aircraft’s engine. It plays a crucial role in optimizing engine performance, especially during various operating conditions. The VIGV is a type of variable geometry system that is designed to control and direct the airflow entering the engine, improving efficiency and power output.

Boeing 737, one of the most popular commercial aircraft in the world, is equipped with CFM International CFM56 engines. These engines use the VIGV technology to enhance performance and reduce fuel consumption. Let’s delve deeper into the workings and benefits of the Variable Inlet Guide Vane system on the Boeing 737.

The Function of Variable Inlet Guide Vane

The Variable Inlet Guide Vane system consists of a series of adjustable vanes located at the entrance of the engine’s compressor. These vanes dynamically control the angle at which the air enters the compressor, allowing for optimal compression and airflow management.

During various operating conditions, such as takeoff, climb, cruise, and descent, the airflow requirements of the engine change. The VIGV system ensures that the angle of the vanes is adjusted accordingly to maintain the most efficient airflow. This adjustment allows for better compression ratios, reduced stall margins, and improved engine stability.

By optimizing the airflow entering the engine, the VIGV system allows for better combustion and fuel efficiency. It helps reduce engine noise and emissions, making the Boeing 737 aircraft more environmentally friendly.

The Benefits of Variable Inlet Guide Vane

The Variable Inlet Guide Vane system offers several key benefits that contribute to overall engine performance and efficiency.

The Improvement in Efficiency

One of the primary advantages of the VIGV system on the Boeing 737 is the improvement in efficiency. By dynamically adjusting the angle of the vanes, the system optimizes the airflow entering the engine and ensures that it is within the desired limits. This precise control enables better compression ratios, leading to improved fuel burn and overall efficiency.

According to CFM International, the VIGV system on the CFM56 engines can improve fuel efficiency by up to 1%. While this may seem like a small number, it translates into significant fuel savings over the lifetime of an aircraft. With the Boeing 737 being widely used for both short-haul and long-haul flights, even a small improvement in efficiency can result in substantial cost savings for airlines.

The Reduction of Emissions

Another important benefit of the Variable Inlet Guide Vane system is the reduction of emissions. The precise control of airflow facilitated by the VIGV helps achieve better combustion within the engine, resulting in lower emissions of pollutants such as nitrogen oxides (NOx).

In fact, according to the Air Transport Action Group, the aviation industry has achieved significant reductions in aircraft emissions over the past few decades. Technologies like the VIGV system have played a crucial role in this achievement. By reducing emissions, the VIGV system contributes to the sustainability efforts of the aviation industry.

The Future of Variable Inlet Guide Vane

The Variable Inlet Guide Vane system has proven to be a valuable technology in enhancing the performance and efficiency of the Boeing 737 aircraft’s engines. However, with advancements in aviation technology, new systems and concepts are continuously being developed to further improve engine performance.

One such concept is the use of active VIGV systems, which utilize sensors and actuators to automatically adjust the vanes based on real-time data. These active systems can optimize engine performance even further by constantly adapting to changing conditions.

Furthermore, with the introduction of more fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly engines, such as the CFM International LEAP engine, the role of the VIGV system may evolve in the future. As airlines and manufacturers strive to reduce carbon emissions and improve overall sustainability, technologies like the Variable Inlet Guide Vane will continue to play a crucial role.

In conclusion, the Variable Inlet Guide Vane system on the Boeing 737 aircraft is a critical component that enhances engine performance, efficiency, and sustainability. By optimizing airflow and allowing for precise control, the VIGV system improves fuel burn, reduces emissions, and contributes to the overall advancement of aviation technology.


For More: What is NM on Boeing 737? (Nautical Miles)