(East Hartford, Conn., and Evendale, Ohio - January 4,2006) -- The U. S. Federal Aviation Administration granted airworthiness certification to the Engine Alliance GP7200 engine, the leading powerplant for the Airbus A380.
The FAR (Federal Aviation Regulation) 33 certification follows an extensive ground and flight-test program that involved eight engines over 21 months. During its development and certification program the GP7200 ran some 7,000 cycles, 25 full-scale engine certification tests and more than 50 component tests, and powered two flight-test programs on a flying test bed. The engine is initially certified at 76,500 pounds of thrust and has the capability to produce over 81,500 pounds with the same bill of material. During its certification program the engine was tested at thrust levels in excess of 94,000 pounds.
"We put the GP7200 through as tough a test regime as any engine has ever faced," said Bruce Hughes, Engine Alliance president. "Even though the engine will be used on the four-engine A380, we tested and certified it to the same standards required for large twin-engine aircraft in ETOPS (Extended-Range Twin Engine Operations). This has been an outstanding team effort by the Engine Alliance, its parent companies GE and Pratt & Whitney, and its partners, MTU, Snecma and TechSpace Aero. Now we are ready to get on with flight-testing and certification on the A380."
The Alliance delivered four flight-test engines to Airbus in September that will soon be installed on an A380 flight-test aircraft. First flight will take place in 2006 with entry into service at Emirates in 2007.
The GP7200 is derived from two successful engines, the GE90 and the PW4000, incorporating all the lessons learned from millions of flight hours and benefiting from the two programs'latest, proven technologies. The GP7200 will ensure the A380 meets stringent Stage 4 noise regulations and QC2 departure noise rules, and its emissions are well below current and anticipated regulations.
The GP7200 holds the market share lead with 55% of announced firm engine orders for the A380. In addition to Emirates, which has purchased or leased a total of 45 A380s, other Engine Alliance customers include Air France, FedEx, Korean Air and International Lease Finance Corporation. The Engine Alliance is a 50/50 joint venture of General Electric (NYSE:GE) and Pratt & Whitney, a United Technologies company (NYSE:UTX).
Rick Kennedy 513.243.3372
Mark Sullivan 860.565.9600