GP7200-Powered A380 Completes High Altitude and Hot Weather Testing
TOULOUSE, France --The GP7200-powered Airbus A380 flight test aircraft recently returned to Toulouse after completing high altitude and hot weather testing in Africa and the Middle East.
MSN009 landed October 16 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where the airport is 7,627 feet (2,325 meters) above sea level. The aircraft performed five test flights to evaluate engine performance at high altitude conditions, including engine takeoff performance characteristics, ground starting and transient operations.
Following the successful test series in Ethiopia, MSN009 traveled to Al Ain in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. In temperatures reaching 39 degrees Celsius (102 degrees F), the GP7200 engines ran at up to 82,000 pounds of thrust in powering eight test flights to gather data under elevated ambient temperature conditions.
"We continue to be very pleased with the GP7200's in-flight performance," said Bruce Hughes, president of the Engine Alliance. "The engine's fuel burn performance continues to track at or better than our specification to Airbus, and all other parameters are performing just as we expected, even in the punishing high and hot conditions of Addis Ababa and Al Ain."
The GP7200 flight test program has now completed 31 flights and over 110 hours of total testing on the A380. Since the first GP7200 engine went to test in early 2004 the program has accumulated nearly 13,000 cycles and more than 4,400 test hours, with additional maturation testing to continue through 2008. The next set of flight certification tests will include cold weather testing in January 2007.
The GP7200 is derived from two successful wide-body engine programs, the GE90 and the PW4000. It benefits from the two programs' latest, proven technologies and the lessons learned from more than 13 million flight hours of safe operation. Certified at 76,500 pounds (340 kN) of thrust, the engine has the capability to produce more than 81,500 pounds (363 kN) of thrust for the A380. The GP7200 will ensure the A380 meets stringent Stage 4 noise regulations and QC2 departure noise rules, and its emissions are well below current and anticipated regulations.
The GP7200 engine has been selected for 82 of the 140 A380 aircraft ordered where engines have been specified, for a 59% share of A380 engine orders. Air France, Emirates, FedEx, International Lease Finance Corporation, Korean Air and UPS have selected the GP7200 engine for their A380 fleets, resulting in firm orders for 360 engines valued at more than $5 billion.
The Engine Alliance is a 50/50 joint venture of General Electric (NYSE:GE) and Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX).