General Electric and Pratt & Whitney's Engine Alliance is focusing on finalising core tests of the GP7000 in mid-June for application on the proposed Airbus A3XX and Boeing 747X developments.

It has confirmed that it does not plan to seek an exclusive agreement to power the 747 derivative and a potential stablemate, the 767-400ERX.

Technical reports from the US manufacturers had led to suggestions that an exclusive bid was being considered, but both partners stress that fundamental hurdles created by the European Union's (EU) conditions for the Alliance make such a move improbable, if not impossible.

Engine Alliance president Lloyd Thompson confirms that it has "not discussed exclusivity on the 747X with Boeing. The Engine Alliance has also not proposed the GP7000 to Boeing for use on the 767-400ERX".

Under the EU's terms, the engine makers can pursue only four engine applications. The agreement also stipulates a maximum take off weight of no less than 454,000kg (1 million lb) for the quad jets which, de facto, are the A3XX and 747X stretch studies.

The Alliance, meanwhile, plans to accumulate around 300h of testing on the nine-stage compressor at the heart of the on-going core tests by the time these are completed in June. Detailed design of the main variants for the proposed Airbus and Boeing applications will begin in mid-2001.

Source: Flight International