The General Electric/Pratt & Whitney Engine Alliance joint venture has outlined a development schedule for the proposed GP7200 powerplant.

Engine Alliance and Rolls-Royce have begun talks with potential A3XX launch customers as the two rival engine suppliers position to be the lead certification engine on the planned new ultra-large capacity aircraft.

"Clearly, the Alliance and R-R are going to have to adjust their schedules to see who gets there first," says Engine Alliance president Lloyd Thompson.

Based on a planned A3XX launch by the end of the year and entry into service in October 2005, Alliance is planning to confirm the GP7200 engine configuration and begin detailed design by mid-2001. This would initiate a 30-month development programme, leading to the start of engine flight testing in early 2003 and culminating in US certification in the final quarter.

Engine Alliance plans initially for two versions of the GP7200, rated at 67,000lb thrust (298kN) for the baseline A3XX-100 and 75,000lb thrust for the heavier -100F and stretched -200. The engine would have a 2.8m (110in) fan diameter, an 8:1 bypass ratio, and bare weight of 5,860kg (12,900lb).

The joint venture is also proposing a 68,000-74,000lb-thrust GP7100 derivative engine to power the Boeing 747-400X and -400X stretch. Boeing has yet to finalise a development schedule for the aircraft but, using GE and P&W engineering and test facilities, the Alliance claims it can support simultaneous programmes.

The GP7100 will have a smaller 2.6m fan diameter, a lower 7:1 bypass ratio and 5,130kg bare weight. Alliance says development costs are projected to amount to $600 million.

Source: Flight International