The Engine Alliance (EA)—a 50/50 joint venture of General Electric and Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp.—completed its 100th GP7200 engine with employees and partners at a ceremony in Middletown, Conn. The GP7200 powers Airbus’ super-jumbo A380 aircraft, and the 100th engine is destined for an Air France airplane.
|Center cut sketch of GP7200 engine. Click to enlarge.|
In recognition of the GP7200’s demonstrated fuel performance on the A380, Airbus recently revised the performance handbook, or “Orange Book”, to reflect a 0.5% Specific Fuel Consumption (SFC) improvement for the GP7200-powered aircraft.
The Orange Book is frequently used by prospective aircraft purchasers as a predictor of aircraft performance. This improvement substantiates the GP7200’s total competitive fuel burn advantage of at least 1%. Nearing two years in revenue service, GP7200 engine’s dispatch reliability rating is 99.9%.
There are 14 GP7200-powered A380s in service. EA launch customer Emirates began operating the aircraft in August 2008 and received its eleventh A380 on 2 July. Emirates is Airbus’ largest A380 customer with orders for 90 of the aircraft. Air France entered service with the GP7200-powered A380 in late 2009 and has three A380s in its fleet to date. Other GP7200 customers include Korean Air, Etihad Airways, Air Austral and International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC).
The GP7200 is the result of innovations to the combined technologies of its member companies’ most successful wide body engines: the GE90 and the PW4000. The GP7200 utilizes the lessons learned from more than 25 million flight hours of successful operation with these legacy engines and incorporates new technology to produce the quietest, most fuel efficient engine for the A380. The GP7200 is certified at 76,500 pounds (340 kN) of thrust, but has the capability to produce more than 81,500 pounds (363 kN). Its emissions are well below current and anticipated regulations.
The GP7200 is manufactured at GE and Pratt & Whitney, with GE manufacturing the high pressure compressor, combustor and high pressure turbine. Pratt & Whitney is responsible for the fan module, low pressure compressor and low pressure turbine. Final engine assembly is conducted at Pratt & Whitney’s Engine Center in Middletown, Connecticut. GP7200 Engine Program participants include SNECMA (France), Techspace Aero (Belgium) and MTU Aero Engines (Germany).