The GE-P&W Engine Alliance GP7200 powerplant (one of the two engines on offer for the Airbus A380) is currently undergoing several key component tests, leading to the first full engine tests in early 2004.

The 108in (2,750mm) diameter fan is running on a modified PW4098 engine at P&W's West Palm Beach, Florida, facility to evaluate performance, noise, operability, and aeromechanics.

The final production version will feature a 116in (2,950mm) diameter fan. Tests of the scaled swept fan should be completed in November.

High-pressure rig testing of the low-emission single annular combustor is underway at GE's Evendale, Ohio, plant to evaluate emissions, component temperatures, and combustion patterns.

This testing follows successful combustor sector rig-testing, completed in 2002.

Later this year, in the autumn, the third GP7200 development core will undergo testing to evaluate performance enhancements to be incorporated into the first full engine to test. Two previous core engines accumulated more than 400h of testing.

In the coming months, the six-stage GP7200 LPT will undergo a second series of tests at MTU of Germany to evaluate performance and noise enhancements to be incorporated into the first full engine to test.

Gearing up

This builds on the 60h of testing accumulated on the LPT last November.

It's full speed ahead," said Lloyd Thompson, president of the GE-P&W engine alliance. "We are gearing up for 2004, a huge year for us with the first full engine test, the beginning of engine certification, and the first flights of the GP7200 on GE's Boeing 747 flying test-bed."

The engine alliance has won half of the orders to power the Airbus A380 (the remainder will be powered by Rolls-Royce's Trent 900, the first engine to enter service) with 188 firm engine orders from Emirates Airlines, FedEx, and Air France.

The GE engine will enter service on the A380 in 2006.

The GP7200 engine family will be certified at 81,500lb (363kN) of thrust and will be offered at two thrust ratings: the GP7270 at 70,000lb (311kN) for the A380-800, and the GP7277 at 76,500lb (340kN) for the A380-800F, with potential for growth up to 84,000 pounds (374kN).

The GP7200 features a hollow-titanium, swept, wide-chord fan, a nine-stage high-pressure compressor scaled from the GE90-115B, and a low-emissions single annular combustor to meet future emissions regulations with substantial margin.

The GP7200 uses technology from the GE90 and PW4000 families, building on the GE90 core and the PW4000 low-pressure system.

The GP7000 is a refined derivative with an infusion of new, proven technologies.


Plans call for the type design engine to accumulate more than 20,850 endurance cycles and 7,000 hours of operation, on eight test engines, prior to service entry, exceeding standards set by previous ETOPS-qualified engines.

The GP7200 is scheduled to be certified by the US's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) in 2005.

MTU, Snecma Moteurs of France and Techspace Aero of Belgium are revenue-sharing participants with GE and P&W in the GP7200 engine programme.

Source: Flight Daily News