PARIS: Engine Alliance cuts another 50 pounds from GP7200

Washington DC
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Engine Alliance partners GE and Pratt & Whitney say they have cut another 22.7kg (50lb) from the 6,712kg (14,800lb) weight for its GP7200 turbofan for the Airbus A380, part of a larger Airbus programme to trim five tonnes of excess weight from the jumbo.

The latest cut brings to more than 200lb the total weight per engine reduction the joint venture has achieved since the engine entered service three years ago.

Engine Alliance president Mary Ellen Jones said a redesigned turbine exhaust case built by Volvo Aero will shave 50lb per engine, or 200lb per aircraft. Jones said the first case has been received and the new exhaust cases will go into service in the autumn.

The GP7200 features a GE hot section and a P&W low spool. To date the engine is powering 22 A380s that have accumulated more than 500,000 flight hours over three years in service. By 2017, there will be 120 A380s powered by the GP7200, giving the Alliance a 56% market share over rival and alternate engine option, Rolls-Royce.

Airbus A380 product marketing director Richard Carcaillet said the airframer today is "getting closer" to the as-promised weight specification for the aircraft.

He said dispatch reliability (DR) for the A380 is up to 98.5% (15 flights out of 1,000 flights impacted) and heading toward a goal of 99%.

For the GP7200, Jones said DR for the engine is 99.87% and the goal is to get to 99.9%. Engine problems to date have centred on line-replaceable units, although Jones did not identify which.

Carcaillet said performance improvement programmes are not in place for either engine, nor is a PIP needed. He would not comment on reports that Hong Kong Airlines will buy as many as six A380s at the show, or which engines might power them.