The newest version of GE Aircraft Engines' CF6 engine, the CF6-80E1A3, has successfully begun flight testing on an Airbus Industrie A330-200 aircraft.

The two CF6-80E1A3 engines performed flawlessly during its two-hour-and-fifty-minute first flight on August 24 at Airbus headquarters in Toulouse, France. To date, the two CF6-80E1A3 engines have completed four test flights totaling 12 hours and 55 minutes and will be put through a series of flight tests expected to measure engine performance in a variety of flight scenarios.

"We are extremely pleased with the results of the CF6-80E1A3 engine's first week of flight tests," said Roger Seager, general manager of the CF6 Project at GEAE. "The CF6-80E1A3 incorporates the latest technology and is building on a 30-year legacy of CF6 engines."

The CF6-80E1A3 received U.S. Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) FAR Type 33 certification on June 27th and is on schedule to deliver the first aircraft to launch customer Air France this December.

The CF6-80E1A3 has the highest thrust rating within the CF6 family at 72,000 pounds (320 kN). The engine will incorporate the R88DT high-pressure turbine rotor proven on the CF6-80C2 and 3-D aerodynamic enhancements to the compressor. These improvements will lower operating temperatures, increase exhaust gas temperature margin, and increase engine time on wing while retaining the demonstrated CF6 stall-free reliability. The improvements will be incorporated in the entire -80E product line, providing the customer the added operational flexibility of a common engine build regardless of thrust rating.

Approval of the CF6-80E1 for 180-minute ETOPS (extended-range twin-engine operation) on the A330 reflects the superior demonstrated reliability of the CF6 family: the CF6-80C2 and -80E1 engines were the first to provide 120- and 180-minute ETOPS operation on Airbus A300, A310 and A330 and Boeing 767 aircraft.

GE Aircraft Engines, with 2000 revenue of $10.8 billion, is the world's leading manufacturer of military and commercial aircraft jet engines. The company produces and services large and small jet engines for airlines, charter and leasing companies, and military aircraft. GE also supplies marine and industrial engines based on successful jet engine designs. CFM International, a 50/50 joint company of GE and Snecma of France, is the leading supplier worldwide of mid-sized commercial engines. Visit GE Aircraft Engines online at http://www.geae.com.