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Airbus ponders A380 thrust reverser options

BFGoodrich and Aircelle are due to submit revised bids to supply the engine nacelles and thrust reversers for the Airbus A380 on 6 April with a selection expected to be announced at the Paris air show in June.

Meanwhile Airbus continues to discuss with the ultra-large aircraft's launch customers whether to stick to the current plan of installing thrust reversers on the inboard engines only, say industry sources.

Aircelle and BFGoodrich were asked to rebid for the nacelle work after Airbus decided with Rolls-Royce and the General Electric-Pratt & Whitney Engine Alliance to increase the fan diameter of the A380's engines, with launch customer Singapore Airlines raising concerns over the aircraft's ability to meet future noise limits.

The contract is expected to be worth up to $4 billion in revenues to the winning supplier over the next 20 years.

Sources close to the selection process say Aircelle - a 50:50 joint venture between Airbus and Snecma - is seen as the front-runner to win the contract after BFGoodrich's win over Messier-Dowty in the competition to supply the A380's main landing gear.

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