General Electric's exclusive engine-study agreement with Airbus Industrie on a power plant for the growth version of the Airbus A340-600 is leaning towards the development of an all-new engine.

The studies, due to be completed in October, are widely expected to recommend a derivative of the CF6 series, particularly since the potential market size for the engine is not expected to be very great. GE president Gene Murphy says: "We have studied both, but it looks like it will be a new engine."

As expected, the study engine has grown from around 225kN (51,000lb)-thrust to the 245kN range. The stretched A340 will carry 375 passengers over 13,000km (7,000nm), rivalling the Boeing 777 and proposed McDonnell Douglas MD-XX. Murphy adds that Snecma, not included in the original study agreement with Airbus, is likely to play a significant part in the new engine.

"We'd welcome Snecma's participation in that, even if it was beyond the thrust agreement [covered by the 80-220kN bracket set up with the establishment of CFM International]."

Source: Flight International