The General Electric/Pratt & Whitney Engine Alliance has unveiled more details of the development schedule for the GP7200 engine for the Airbus A380-800. The plan is set to culminate in the fielding of the increased thrust GP7277 derivative for the -800 Freighter in June 2008.

The Engine Alliance, in addition to developing the 68,000-70,000lb (302-311kN) thrust GP7270 engine for the A380, says it is also working on a newly designated GP7277 for the higher gross weight freighter launched by FedEx. Airbus has asked the joint venture to produce a 76,500lb thrust version for the A380-800F, which the Engine Alliance anticipates will deliver a better than expected 0.8% improvement in specific fuel consumption.

Its latest development schedule calls for preliminary design work on the GP7200 to be concluded by next June, followed by the completion of detailed design the following December. The first engine will run in April 2004 and be certificated by July 2005 at 81,500lb thrust. The first GP7200-powered A380 will fly in January 2006 and enter service with launch customer Air France in September 2006.

The Trent 900 by contrast has already completed an internal stage 1 exit design criteria and is to make its first engine run at the end of 2002. The engine will be certificated at 80,000lb thrust, although the initial A380 application will be derated to 68,000lb thrust. The Trent 900 will have the growth potential of up to 84,000lb-thrust, says R-R.

Source: Flight International