Pratt & Whitney this spring held a media event at its Hartford, Connecticut headquarters and provided an overview of its milestones and advances in environmental cleanliness and so on. Some samples:
Engine Alliance GP7000
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.
The biggest engine deal of Farnborough 2002 was undoubtedly FedEx’s selection of the Engine Alliance’s GP7200 engines to power its 10 A380 cargo megaliners. Though the value of the contract was not disclosed, it gives the Pratt & Whitney/General Electric joint venture parity in the A380 powerplant race with its Rolls-Royce rival.
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.
The environment is everything these days for engine manufacturers and suppliers, as initiatives such as the recently launched European Commission Clean Sky program drive ever more advanced ideas on reducing emissions and noise.
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.
Two and a half years after its first flight, the Airbus A380 airliner entered service late in October with Singapore Airlines (SIA). While SIA has received the only example of the super large airliner slated for 2007 delivery, next August Emirates Airline is slated to get the first of the 55 A380s it has ordered to date.
The GE Aviation /Pratt & Whitney Engine Alliance, which builds the GP7200 powering the Airbus A380 flying at the show, is ready to offer a powerplant solution for the A350XWB, if Airbus and GE fail to reach agreement.