Dubai 2005 - The Engine Alliance GP7200 engine, selected to power Emirates' new fleet of Airbus A380s, has completed all the required engine tests for certification by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, opening the way for first flight on the Airbus A380 in 2006. 

The Engine Alliance completed all required engine certification tests in November, and FAA certification is anticipated in December. 

"The GP7200 has been put through as tough a development and certification program as any engine has undergone, meeting both new FAA requirements and Airbus requirements for maturity at entry into service," said Bruce Hughes, president of the Engine Alliance. "This engine, even though it will fly on the four-engine A380, meets all the demanding requirements for extended range operations on a twin-engine airliner. This is a rock-solid engine that will be a great performer for our customers." 

During its test program, the GP7200 ran at more than 94,000 pounds of thrust, significantly higher than initial service requirements of 70,000 pounds of thrust. In many tests, the engine was run under conditions that it will never see in actual airline service in order to demonstrate its ruggedness and reliability. Thus far the GP7200 has accumulated nearly 3000 hours and 7000 cycles of testing (a cycle is the equivalent of one takeoff and landing). 

The Engine Alliance delivered the first four GP7200 flight-test engines to Airbus in September. All GP7200 engines that have been through production-acceptance testing to date have demonstrated performance levels at or better than the Airbus fuel burn specification. 

The GP7200 program is focused on maintainability as well as performance and durability. The Engine Alliance recently hosted a two-week Maintainability Demonstration in which mechanics from customer airlines performed more than 100 approved maintenance procedures on a GP7200 engine to evaluate the engine's ease of maintenance. This customer feedback will be used to further improve engine maintenance procedures. 

The GP7200 will ensure the A380 meets stringent Stage 4 noise regulations and QC2 departure noise rules, and its emissions are below current and anticipated regulations. The engine combines the best technology from the two Engine Alliance 50/50 partners, General Electric (NYSE:GE) and Pratt & Whitney, a United Technologies company (NYSE:UTX). Much of the technology in the engine derives from the highly successful and reliable GE90 and PW4000 engine programs of the two companies. 

The GP7200 holds the lead with 58 percent of announced firm engine orders for the A380. Emirates will be the first airline to operate the GP7200 when its A380s enter service in 2007. Other Engine Alliance customers include Air France, FedEx, Korean Air and International Lease Finance Corporation.