GP7200 Takes to the Skies in First Flight Test
VICTORVILLE, CALIFORNIA -- The Engine Alliance's GP7200 engine completed its first flight on December 3, mounted at the inboard location on the left wing of GE's Boeing 747 flying testbed, at Victorville, California. This first flight, which lasted for nearly three hours, focused on assessing the engine operation and gathering propulsion system data on the nacelle and accessories.
"We are very pleased with the engine's performance during its first flight test," said Bruce Hughes, president of the Engine Alliance. "This first flight is another significant milestone for the GP7200 and keeps us on track to support the first flight aboard Airbus' A380 next year."
The initial series of seven flight tests will wrap up by the end of December. The second round of flight-testing is scheduled for the spring of 2005.
GP7200 engine certification is targeted for third quarter 2005. First flight on the A380 is set for November 2005 with entry into revenue service powering an Emirates’ A380-800 aircraft in October 2006. Prior to service entry, the nine engines in the GP7200 test program will accumulate more than 16,000 endurance cycles, demonstrating the equivalent of more than 30,000 hours of revenue service on a single engine and exceeding the standards for Extended Twin-Engine Operations (ETOPS).
The GP7200 engine has been tailored to satisfy both current and future thrust requirements of the A380 family of aircraft. The GP7200 will initially be certified at 76,500 pounds (340 kN) of thrust. Subsequent durability endurance testing will be performed to certify the engine at 81,500 pounds (363 kN) of thrust in 2006 to accommodate future growth for the A380. If needed, the basic GP7200 architecture can accommodate thrust growth up to 84,000 pounds (374 kN) of thrust.
The GP7200 engine has been selected for 67 of the 110 A380 aircraft ordered with the engines specified. Emirates, Air France, FedEx, and International Lease Finance Corporation have selected the GP7200 engine for their A380 fleets, resulting in firm orders for almost 300 engines valued at more than $3 billion.
The GP7200 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; 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, was formed in August 1996 to develop, manufacture, sell, and support a family of modern-technology engines for new high-capacity, long-range aircraft.