All three leading engine manufacturers are discussing with Airbus Industrie powerplant options in the 55-60,000lb-thrust (245-267kN) range for its proposed A330-100 medium-range 250-seat development.

The aircraft is expected to combine an aerodynamically modified A300-600R wing with a shortened A330 fuselage. A quick solution is required to meet a projected availability date of 2004 (Flight International, 18-24 January).

"We have made a number of proposals for the A330-100 and what is sometimes called the A306," says General Electric CF6 general manager, Roger Seager. "We can make the CF6 FADEC [full authority digital engine control] capable for the Airbus, and in general, we are talking about everything from changing the FADEC to what I call the G2". The CF6-80G2 was a 67,000-70,000lb CF6 growth study initially aimed at the Boeing 767-400ERX and 747X projects, but was effectively suspended by GE last year as the projects failed to progress.

Seager says the technology developed for the G2 could be realigned toward the lower thrust bracket, particularly the hybrid titanium fan. Seager says the Airbus requirement also outlines a "generic new centreline engine" and "performance targets are aggressive".

Pratt & Whitney is studying options based on its PW4000 family, but believes the most likely solution would be a PW4158 derivative being supplied for new A300-600Fs in production for UPS.

Rolls-Royce is submitting a bid based around the 53-60,000lb Trent 500 powerplant, which has already been chosen by Airbus to power the A340-500/600.

Source: Flight International