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.
Engine Alliance GP7000
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.
Less than 50 days after the A380’s first flight, Airbus has reported an essentially satisfactory start to the very large jetliner’s test program. Preliminary results include “excellent” comfort up to the M 0.89 maximum operating Mach number, with cruise performance said to be “on target,” a spokesman said.
With almost 150 flights and well over 500 hours of test flying behind it, the Airbus A380 very large airliner’s participation at Dubai 2005 marks only its second airshow presence since the maiden flight last April. The program has been boosted this month by visits to airports in Europe and the Asia/Pacific region that will host early scheduled passenger services slated to begin with Singapore Airlines around the end of next year.
Two years after signing the deal at the 2003 Dubai airshow, Emirates Airline and General Electric are forging ahead with construction of a huge new engine test facility at Dubai airport. The 6,000-sq-ft, $45 million building, set to open in January 2007, will house an indoor test stand with a data acquisition system and engine “preparation to test” area.
Emirates Airline is constructing a new engineering center, engine test facility and headquarters–all of which it expects to open by January 2007. The $353 million engineering center will sit on a 136-acre site on the north side of Dubai International Airport and rank as one of the biggest civil aviation maintenance facilities in the world.
The General Electric/Pratt & Whitney Engine Alliance partnership was last month awarded certification of the GP7200 by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and is now preparing for its first flight powering the giant Airbus A380 airliner.
Airbus’ confirmation that it is to go ahead with the A350 XWB, requiring much higher thrust engines than the original A350, has put the cat among the pigeons in the U.S. engine industry, with General Electric and Pratt & Whitney apparently poles apart on what they will offer.
Delays to the A380 program have not made things any easier for major suppliers such as the Engine Alliance (Hall 4 Stand A9), which currently has its first four production GP7200 engines mounted on an aircraft at Toulouse waiting for clearance to begin flight tests.