AIRBUS WILL begin evaluating four engine options for the stretched version of the A340 in the fourth quarter of the year, says vice-president, engineering, Bernard Ziegler. The consortium says that it would "...prefer to offer a choice of engines, but that depends on the manufacturers".

"We're working with all the engine manufacturers on an efficient 180kN-class engine, enabling us to exploit the full aerodynamic capabilities of the A340 wing," says vice-president forecasting and strategic planning Adam Brown, "which, even on the A340-8000, is still well within its limits".

The options being studied are the Rolls-Royce RB211-411, the Pratt & Whitney PW2143, P&W's Advanced Ducted Prop (ADP) and the proposed new CFMXX from Snecma/General Electric.

The winning engine manufacturers will be expected to pay for the non-recurring costs of re-engineing the A340. "The question is, will the manufacturer be prepared to invest several million dollars in being number two or three on the aircraft," says Ziegler.

Snecma and GE have yet to decide whether to launch the all-new CFMXX, while P&W is thought unlikely to push hard on the ADP, preferring to offer a development its PW2037 powering the Boeing 757. "The cost of installing an ADP on the A340 could be excessive," says one source.

Airbus has confirmed the order from Lufthansa for 20 A319s, while Air Canada has increased its order book for the same type by a further ten aircraft.

Source: Flight International