The first Pratt & Whitney (P&W) PW6000-powered A318 aircraft has been delivered to engine-launch customer LAN Airlines, and marked the powerplant’s entry into service on June 18. Based in Santiago, Chile, the operator has ordered 44 engines and taken options on a further 41 units.
Engine Alliance GP7000
Manufacturers of nacelles and thrust reversers have no less interest in introducing new technology to their designs than do the suppliers of the engines inside them.
Airbus last month unveiled its first complete A380 double-decker, making the European consortium the builder of the world’s biggest passenger airplane. In the high-profile January 18 ceremony at the Toulouse final assembly facility in Southern France, the European manufacturer unveiled to 5,000 guests, among them four heads of state, F-WWOW, which will be the first of the 555-seaters to fly.
Amid ceremonies December 12 in Toulouse, France, the Airbus A380 received joint type certification approvals from the FAA and the European Aviation Safety Agency. At 1.19 million pounds, it is the largest airliner ever built and as an executive/VIP bizliner will offer 6,819 sq ft of floor space. It will be capable of carrying several hundred VIP passengers about 8,000 nm.
General Electric Aircraft Engine Services’ facility at Nantgarw in south Wales is preparing to overhaul and repair the Engine Alliance’s GP7200 powerplant for the Airbus A380 super-large airliner. The program is part of a $10 million budget that will support infrastructure for the new engine over the next three to five years.
Diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton Corp. is showing its range of expertise in the aerospace field here in Paris, highlighting its recent developments in the civil realm, such as a 5,000-psi hydraulic power generation and fluid conveyance system used in the Airbus A380.
Pratt & Whitney is now having to consider what it can contribute to a new powerplant to be developed by its Pratt & Whitney Canada subsidiary for the proposed Bombardier C Series of small jetliners. It also is seeking new launch customers for its PW6000 engine on the Airbus A318 and is continuing to invest in new-technology developments for possible future applications, according to P&W president Louis Chenevert.
Korean Air has ordered $300 million worth of GP7200s from the Engine Alliance to power its Airbus A380s. The carrier has ordered 23 engines for the five A380s it has on firm order and will take another 13, worth a further $170 million, if it exercises its options for three more. The new order gives the GE Transportation–Aircraft Engines/Pratt & Whitney joint venture a 58-percent share on the A380s for which engines have been specified.
Everything is going very well with the Rolls-Royce Trent 900, which has logged more than 400 engine hours aboard the Airbus A380 since the very large airliner’s April 27 first flight, according to managing director (airline) Charles Cuddington. With almost 20 flights completed by the beginning of June, initial engine performance is said to be “better than spec,” reflecting earlier experience on the A340 flying testbed.
“We want the subsidy issue to go away. It’s not beneficial to either side,” said Eric Hinson, Honeywell Aerospace’s vice president for Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Hinson’s view on the increasingly bitter feud between Europe and America over government support for airliner programs appears to have nothing to do with politics. It’s pure business.