EVENDALE, OH – SEPTEMBER 28, 2020 – GE Aviation announced today its GE9X engine has been certified by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) authorities, a key milestone in its journey to power the new twin-engine Boeing 777X family.
The FAR (Federal Aviation Regulation) Part 33 certification involved eight test engines. This certification achievement culminates GE Aviation’s renewal of its commercial jet engine portfolio, including the GEnx for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the CFM LEAP engine.
“It takes the world’s best talent in jet propulsion to create a game-changing product like the GE9X engine,” said John Slattery, president and CEO of GE Aviation. “There is no substitute that can achieve the combination of size, power and fuel efficiency of the GE9X. This engine will deliver unsurpassed value and reliability to our airline customers. I want to congratulate the entire GE9X team and thank Boeing, our partners and suppliers for the collaboration on this incredible achievement.”
The GE9X test engines completed just under 5,000 hours and 8,000 cycles for certification.
“Just as the GE90 pioneered new technology for commercial aircraft engines more than 25 years ago on the Boeing 777, the GE9X sets the new standard for engine performance and efficiency thanks to the incorporation of GE’s most advanced technologies developed over the last decade,” said Bill Fitzgerald, vice president and general manager of Commercial Engines Operation for GE Aviation.
The GE9X engine is designed to achieve 10 percent lower specific fuel consumption (SFC) compared to the GE90-115B and five percent better SFC than any other engine in its class. The engine will also operate with less smog-causing emissions than any other engine in its class.
“This milestone has been accomplished thanks to the tremendous efforts of the GE9X team and our partners,” said Karl Sheldon, GE9X program general manager. “The GE9X engine has been through a rigorous and thorough certification and testing process. We are pleased with the performance of the engine, which has been validated through extensive ground and flight testing. We are excited to deliver a mature, state-of-the-art product to operators around the world.”
GE’s focus remains working with Boeing to complete the 777X flight test program and entry into service. Eight GE9X test engines and two test spares have been produced and delivered to Seattle for Boeing’s four 777X test airplanes. Several GE9X production engines have been assembled, and GE Aviation is in the process of completing factory acceptance tests.
GE Aviation is currently conducting 3,000 hours of additional ground testing on the GE9X engine to support Extended Operations (ETOPS) approval. The GE9X team is also conducting maturation testing to help GE engineers prepare to support the engine in service.
For service and support of its customers, GE has established GE9X engine training courses at its Customer Technical Education Center (CTEC) facility in Cincinnati. A GE9X engine currently at CTEC is being used to develop lean maintenance practices that will be implemented in customer training modules and GE training procedures. Course work includes line maintenance, borescope and boroblend repair procedures, as well as fan stator removal and installation. The CTEC team is also working augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR) training courses to supplement the in-person training.
IHI Corporation, Safran Aircraft Engines, Safran Aero Boosters and MTU Aero Engines AG are participants in the GE9X engine program.
CFM is a 50/50 joint venture between GE Aviation and Safran Aircraft Engines.
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9 facts for GE9X
- The 134-inch composite fan case is the largest of any commercial engine in the world and is larger than a Boeing 737 fuselage.
- The GE9X has more than 300 additively-manufactured parts. Beyond the GE9X, GE Aviation (3) and its joint venture CFM* (1) currently have four other 3D-printed parts certified by the FAA. These parts are the T25 sensor for the GE90-94B, the CFM LEAP fuel nozzle tip, the GEnx-2B power door opening system (PDOS) bracket and the GE Passport air-oil separator.
- Despite its size, the GE9X is expected to enter service as the quietest GE engine ever produced in terms of pounds of thrust per decibel.
- The GE9X engine has fourth-generation composite fan blades installed. GE’s first composite fan blade entered service on the GE90-94B engine in 1995. GE and its joint venture, CFM, have accumulated more than 138 million flight hours with composite blades in the last 25 years.
- The 16 composite fan blades in the GE9X engine are the lowest number GE has produced for a commercial jet engine. The GE90 engine has 22 fan blades and the GEnx has 18. The smaller CFM LEAP engine has 18 composite fan blades.
- The GE9X set a world record, generating 134,300 pounds of thrust during an engineering test run on November 10, 2017 at GE’s outdoor test facility in Peebles, Ohio. The GE90-115B set the previous record of 127,900 pounds of thrust in 2002.
- GE Aviation conducted 72 GE9X test flights, totaling more than 400 hours, on its Boeing 747 Flying Test Bed. The first test flight lifted off on March 8, 2018, in Victorville, California.
- There are five ceramic matrix composites (CMC) components in the GE9X engine, including the first stage high pressure turbine (HPT) shroud, the first and second stage HPT nozzles and the inner and outer linings of the combustor. GE Aviation has more than 8 million hours of experience running CMC parts in commercial engines. GE obtained its first patent on CMC materials in 1986 and has continued to develop the material. GE has invested more than $1.5 billion in the technology and established the first vertically-integrated CMC supply chain in the U.S.
- With an overall pressure ratio of 60:1, the GE9X engine has the highest pressure ratio of any engine in service. This means the engine makes the most efficient use of the air it takes in for improved fuel efficiency.
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