Dean Athans has been named president of the Engine Alliance, succeeding Mary Ellen Jones, who is returning to a senior leadership position at Pratt & Whitney. Athans joins Engine Alliance from the GE Power & Water Aero Derivatives business, where he led the LMS100 power turbine product line since 2010. Before that, Athans spent 25 years at GE Aviation, where he held many technical, operation and commercial leadership roles.
Engine Alliance, the joint venture between engine manufacturers General Electric (GE) and Pratt & Whitney (P&W), claims pole position so far in supplying engines for the giant Airbus A380. The Hartford, Connecticut-based group says it has been selected for 55 percent of A380 engine sales compared to Rolls-Royce’s 45-percent share with its Trent 900.
Pratt & Whitney today filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court in Connecticut against Rolls-Royce, claiming that UK-based engine maker misled the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office to obtain a patent related to swept fan blades.
The Engine Alliance GP7200 engine is in the middle of a weight-reduction program that may further help sales as the General Electric-Pratt & Whitney joint venture is engaged in at least three campaigns: with Qatar Airways, Kingfisher Airlines and Vietnam Airlines. The engine maker (Hall 4 Stand A10) expects 19 Airbus A380s to be in service flying its turbofans by the end of the year.
Air Austral selected the Engine Alliance GP7200 to power the pair of Airbus A380s it has ordered. Air Austral also chose Engine Alliance as its service provider to maintain, repair and overhaul its A380 engines as part of a 10-year fleet management agreement. The value of the deal, signed here yesterday, totals $240 million at list prices.
The first Air France Airbus A380 powered with Engine Alliance GP7200 engines successfully completed a four-hour inaugural test flight from Airbus’s Toulouse, France manufacturing site last Thursday, the company announced today. On Monday, the aircraft flew to Airbus’s Hamburg, Germany facilities for paint and interior completions work. Airbus has scheduled the A380 for delivery to Air France in October.
The first GP7200-powered Airbus A380 will enter service with Emirates on August 1 on a flight from Dubai to New York City. The milestone will mark the first engine Alliance-powered aircraft to enter service since General Electric and Pratt & Whitney formed a partnership in 1996 to design and manufacture the engine for the A380. The powerplant is derived from the GE90 and the PW4000.
Airbus is studying 10-abreast seating for its A350WXB following interest from low-cost airlines including AirAsia, which has inquired a potential 25-aircraft order.
Rolls-Royce has confirmed a follow-on order from Singapore Airlines for Trent 900 engines to power SIA’s nine additional Airbus A380s.
The Airbus A380 powered by Engine Alliance GP7200 engines received joint European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and FAA type certification last Friday. The approval came a year and two days after the EASA and FAA issued the Rolls-Royce-powered A380 its certification, on Dec. 12, 2006. MSN009, Airbus’ test aircraft powered by the Engine Alliance turbofans, completed nearly 800 hours of test flying.
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