General Electric, Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce are preparing to submit their final technical proposals to power to the 7E7 twinjet this month, ahead of the expected selection of two winning candidates as early as April.

"The schedule looks like best and final proposals due at the end of March and a final selection in the April timeframe," says Robert Leduc, president of Pratt & Whitney's commercial engine business.

"Technically we're there. Commercially we're in the throes of finalising the proposal and we'll finalise it by the end of March," Leduc says. "I think technically we'll make the hurdle and it will come down to market reaction and commercial termsÉI know Boeing is out there getting customer reaction."

If P&W wins, it is prepared to forge a memorandum of understanding with suppliers by June. P&W has discussed possible roles in the PW-EXX with potential suppliers, including MTU and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, and held follow-up meetings at AA2004.

Meanwhile, R-R says the three-shaft configuration of the Trent 7E7 engine brings several advantages to its bid. Because of the requirement for larger generators on the more-electric 7E7, R-R has decided to use the intermediate-pressure (IP) shaft to drive the gearbox rather than the high-pressure shaft, as is the case on existing Trent models, which it says will be more efficient.

R-R managing director airlines Charles Cuddington says the company is considering introducing a counter-rotating IP shaft on the Trent 7E7, which he says will result in further efficiency gains through "reduced losses" in the gas path.

Source: Flight International