Fri, Feb 27, 2004
7E7 Engine Selection In April
Engine manufacturers are looking forward to an April Boeing
decision on 7E7 powerplants, Pratt & Whitney
President-Commercial Engines Robert Leduc said at the Asian
Aerospace 2004. The airframe manufacturer is taking the competing
engine specifications to key airline customers. "I think
technically [the competitors] will all make the [specification]
hurdles. I think it comes down to terms and conditions and the
market reaction," Leduc said.
Boeing firmed aircraft specifications just a few weeks ago, but
now "we finally locked down on thrust and configuration," allowing
Pratt to deliver its "best and final" engine specifications at the
end of March, Leduc said. Current talks with Boeing center on
"weight vs. SFC trades…I feel pretty good about the engine,"
now called the PE-EXX. "We do believe you need a whole new engine
for a whole new airplane." The market is largely a replacement
market in which Pratt has a strong position, with Rolls-Royce
So large is the prospective market -- 2,000-2,500 airplanes over
20 years by Boeing's forecast, 1,900 by conservative Pratt guesses
-- that Leduc plans to keep the program going in the event the
PW-EXX is not selected, slowed somewhat waiting for Airbus to make
decisions on what it will do with its A330 to counter the 7E7 push.
"We are building the HP (high pressure) rig as we speak" in
preparation for testing that will be completed by year end.
Assembly of the first GP7000 is nearing completion, with the
first test runs set for East Hartford, Conn., on March 7 to be
followed by the second Pratt-built engine several weeks later.
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