By Guy Norris in Los Angeles
Engine Alliance, a General Electric and Pratt & Whitney joint venture, is studying the revamped Airbus A350’s increased thrust requirement. A GP7000 technical team is to meet Airbus “to understand its requirements”, says P&W Large Commercial Engines president Steve Heath.
“I see no reason why we couldn’t take the technology of our partner GE and combine that with our low-pressure spool and end up with an extremely competitive product that could power the A380 growth and, at the same time, apply to the A350 line,” says Heath. He adds that “P&W and GE are talking to each other about this, and we’re promoting it through the Engine Alliance”. He believes the GP7000 approach will also be the most cost-effective solution. “We’ve dumped around $1 billion into the GP7000 and GE has put as much again into the GEnx. At some point common sense has to prevail.”
He believes the European Union competition ruling on the GP7000, which restricts its use to quad designs, can be overcome. “I don’t see why an engine on the A380 can’t be used to the potential advantage of the Airbus family. I don’t know why the EU would object.”
Separately, GE is thought to be studying solutions, including a potential GE90-sized engine with GEnx technology. Rolls-Royce is likely to look at a new Trent variant embracing 800 and 1000/1700 technology. GE says it “has agreements to power more than 100 A350s with the GEnx”. R-R says it holds regular talks with Airbus and Boeing on their “future requirements”.