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GP7200 Reaches Milestone

A380  Powerplant Making Progress

The Engine Alliance GP7200 engine has reached a significant milestone on its path to certification for the Airbus A380 by successfully conducting the FAA ‘fan-blade-out test.’

During the test, performed at Pratt & Whitney facilities in East Hartford, Conn., one of the engine’s 116-inch diameter fan blades was released from the fan hub by an explosive charge while the engine ran at maximum speed equivalent to more than 82,000 pounds of thrust. The GP7200 test engine demonstrated that it can contain the resulting damage and be safely shut down.

“The GP7200 came through with flying colors,” said Bruce Hughes, president of the Engine Alliance. “This test is one of the toughest an engine faces to obtain FAA certification and the GP7200 performed beautifully, demonstrating its robust design.”

The Engine Alliance currently has four engines in the GP7200 test program demonstrating operability, endurance and other key requirements for engine certification. The GP7200 will fly for the first time on the General Electric 747 flying testbed later this year and will make its first flight on the A380 in November 2005. Entry into service will be in October 2006 with Emirates.

The GP7200 is the market leading power plant for the Airbus A380 having secured over 60 percent of the engine orders. It benefits from the heritage of the highly successful GE90 and PW4000 families. Building on the GE90 core and the PW4000 low-pressure system, the GP7200 is a refined derivative with an infusion of new, proven technologies. The engine features a hollow-titanium, swept wide-chord fan; a five-stage low-pressure compressor; a nine-stage high-pressure compressor and a two-stage high-pressure turbine based on the GE90-115B; a low-emissions single annular combustor that will meet future emissions regulations with substantial margin; and a six-stage low-pressure turbine.

MTU of Germany, Snecma Moteurs of France and Techspace Aero of Belgium are revenue-sharing participants in the GP7200 engine program. The Engine Alliance, a 50/50 joint venture between GE Transportation - Aircraft Engines and Pratt & Whitney, a United Technologies company was formed in August 1996 to develop, manufacture, sell, and support a family of modern-technology engines for new high-capacity, long-range aircraft.

FMI: www.enginealliance.com

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