GE AVIATION: POWERING A CENTURY OF FLIGHT
When the United States entered World War I in 1917, the U.S. government searched for a company to develop the first airplane engine "booster" for the fledgling U.S. aviation industry. This booster, or turbosupercharger, installed on a piston engine, used the engine's exhaust gases to drive an air compressor to boost power at higher altitude.
For more than two decades, GE produced turbosuperchargers that enabled aircraft, including many in service during World War II, to fly higher, with heavier payloads. The company's expertise in turbines and turbosuperchargers figured into the U.S. Army Air Force's decision to select GE to develop the nation's first jet engine.
Since then, the aircraft engines division of GE Aviation has scored many firsts. Among them: America's first jet engine, the first turbojet engines to power flights at two and three times the speed of sound, and the world's first high bypass turbofan engine to enter service.
Today, GE Aviation is a global provider of engines, systems, and services, with revenues of $17.6 billion in 2010. As a leader in aviation technology, GE Aviation continues to design, develop and manufacture jet engines, components and integrated systems for military, commercial and business and general aircraft as well as aero-derivative gas turbines for marine applications. In addition, GE Aviation is the world's leading integrated engine maintenance resource.
GE BUILDS AMERICA'S FIRST JET ENGINE
Because principles and challenges in turbosuperchargers apply to gas turbines as well, GE was a logical choice to build America's first jet engine.
However, the Air Corps, concerned about disrupting supplies of turbosuperchargers, placed production of GE's jet engines with other manufacturers. GE then set about designing another. The resulting J47 put GE back in the business of building jet engines. But demand for the J47 to power almost all the new front-line military aircraft, particularly the F-86 Sabre Jet, meant the Lynn plant could not keep up. GE needed a second factory.
GE selected a federally owned plant near Cincinnati, Ohio, where Wright Aeronautical piston engines had been produced during World War II. GE formally opened the plant on February 28, 1949, with the second J47 production line, to complement the original line at Lynn. Later, the plant would be known as Evendale and would become GE Aviation's world headquarters.
With the Korean War boosting demand, the J47 became the world's most produced gas turbine. More than 35,000 J47 engines were delivered by the end of the 1950s. That engine scored two major firsts: it was the first turbojet certified for civil use by the U.S. Civil Aeronautics Administration- and the first to use an electronically controlled afterburner to boost its thrust.
The war created a boom environment. Employment at GE's Evendale facility experienced a- ten-fold increase, from 1,200 to 12,000 people in 20 months), requiring a tripling of manufacturing space. In 1951, GE announced that the Evendale plant would be one of the world's truly great jet engine centers in peace and war. In 1954, the Evendale manufacturing complex, virtually empty just six years earlier, was designated as GE's production facility for large jet engines while its sister plant in Lynn, Massachusetts, focused on developing and producing small jet engines.
HISTORIC MILITARY ENGINES: COLD WAR TO PROTECTING TODAY'S FREEDOM
For all its success, the J47 was inadequate for the planned Century series of fighters, which would fly at more than twice the speed of sound. GE responded to the challenge of powering these aircraft with one of the most important developments for the jet engine, the variable stator of its J79 turbojet engine. The movable stator vanes in the engine helped the compressor cope with the huge internal variations in airflow from takeoff to high supersonic speeds.
Meanwhile, GE was busy on a "baby gas turbine," the 800-horsepower T58 turboshaft engine. Two T58 turboshaft engines powered a Sikorsky HSS-1F in the U.S.'s first turbine-powered helicopter flight. That engine, which first ran in the 1950s, was the precursor of Lynn's small engine product line. GE turboshaft engines have since evolved to power every medium- to large-sized helicopter in the Western world, largely through the development of Lynn's phenomenally successful T700/CT7 engine family.
The 1950s and 1960s saw further advances: the J93, the first turbojet engine to operate at three times the speed of sound- powered the U.S. Air Force (USAF) experimental XB-70 bomber; and the addition of a fan to the rear of the CJ805 created the first turbofan engine for commercial service on the Convair 990. Later, a race to power the USAF's C-5 Galaxy cargo plane prompted GE to put a larger fan on the front of an engine. The result: the TF39, the world's first high bypass turbofan engine to enter service, introduced the remarkable fuel efficiency of high-bypass technology.
A major success of the period was the Lynn-manufactured J85 turbojet engine. Contracted by the USAF to build a low-cost air-combat fighter, Northrop built the F-5 Freedom Fighter around the GE J85 engine. The F-5 soon became the standard air defense aircraft for more than 30 nations.
Advances in compressor, combustor and turbine knowledge in the 1960s led to the decision to propose a more compact core engine with a single-stage turbine and only two bearing areas versus three, resulting in the GE F101 engine, selected for the U.S. Air Force's B-1 bomber.
The role of GE military engines continued to grow during the defense buildup of the 1980s. In 1984, the USAF selected GE's highly reliable F110 engine, based on the F101 design, for the F-16C/D fighter aircraft, initiating "The Great Engine War"- an intense, competition between GE and rival Pratt & Whitney. The F110 now powers the majority of USAF F-16C/Ds. The F110 also powers F-16s worldwide, having been selected by Israel, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Chile and Oman. In addition, the F110 powers Japan's single-engine F-2 fighter and the U.S. Navy's F-14B/D Super Tomcat fighter. A derivative of the F110, the F118, powers the U.S. Air Force B-2 bomber.
Also in the 1980s, the F404 engine for the F/A-18 Hornet entered production. Today the F404 is the world's most ubiquitous fighter engine, with more than 3,700 powering the aircraft of several military services worldwide, including the F-117 Stealth fighters of the USAF and the F/A-18 Hornet aircraft of the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and several foreign nations. F404 derivatives also power Sweden's JAS 39 Gripen and Singapore's A-4S Super Skyhawk.
Many years of successful GE military engine programs culminated with two recent military conflicts in the Middle East. In 1991, GE produced more than half of all the aircraft of the U.S. and other Allied forces in Operation Desert Storm. More than 5,000 GE engines were deployed during Desert Storm, powering fighters, tankers, helicopters, transports, and surveillance aircraft, including F-14s, F-16s, F-5s, F-4s, C-5s, KC-135Rs, F-117A Stealth fighters, F-18s, A-10s, S-3s, and Black Hawk and Apache helicopters, both powered by GE's T700 engine. Despite sharply increased aircraft usage, sand and severe climate fluctuations, mission readiness rates for GE engines remained extremely high, with many units reporting dispatch reliability rates of more than 99 percent. In 2003 and 2004, GE engines powered more than 80 percent of the Operation Iraqi Freedom coalition aircraft. GE's engines have powered tens of thousands of successful sorties flown by some 450 fighters and close-air support aircraft, 15 bombers, more than 230 tankers and transports, and more than 550 helicopters during this conflict. The engines' dispatch reliability, technological superiority and high quality have been essential to the overall success of the Operation.
GE is positioned to be a world leader in military propulsion well into the 21st century. The F414, the turbofan engine for the U.S. Navy's F/A-18E/F Super Hornet front-line strike fighter, produces 22,000 pounds of thrust, and a growth development roadmap could increase its thrust by as much as 25 percent over the next several years.
A growth version of the highly successful T700/CT7 engine, the T700/T6E, is available for civil and military helicopters worldwide. The best-selling F110 has been enhanced through a more durable, higher-thrust version powering F-16s. The status of T700/CT7 engines as the most popular engines in their class, with more than 12,000 produced for 133 customers in 57 countries throughout the world, continues to be reaffirmed.
In addition, the GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Team is developing the F136 engine for the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program. The team successfully completed Short Take Off, Vertical Landing (STOVL) testing on an F136 engine at the GE testing facility at Peebles, Ohio in 2008. The F136 engine is the most advanced fighter aircraft engine ever developed and will be available to power all variants of the F-35 Lightning II aircraft for the U.S. military and eight partner nations. In 2005, The GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Team received a multi-year SDD contract award from the JSF program office. The first full SDD engine began testing in early 2009, with first flight in the F-35 to follow in 2011.
GE BECOMES LEADING COMMERCIAL ENGINE SUPPLIER
Building on the technology of the TF39 military engine, GE moved aggressively into the civil market in 1971 with a derivative engine, the CF6-6 high bypass turbofan engine, on the Douglas DC-10. The CF6 family grew to include the CF6-50, CF6-80A, CF6-80C2 and CF6-80E1. In the 1980s, the CF6 family of engines emerged as the most popular engines powering wide-body aircraft, including the Boeing 747 and 767, the Airbus A300, A310, A330 and the McDonnell Douglas MD-11.
The CF6, in service since 1971, continues to add to its impressive record of flight hours, more than any other commercial aircraft engine ever accumulated. To put that in perspective, it is the equivalent of one engine running 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for more than 26,000 years.
The CF6-80C2 engine, which entered service in 1985, has set new standards of reliability in commercial service and has been instrumental in the rise of GE as a leading supplier of large commercial engines.
Perhaps the greatest compliment afforded the CF6-80C2 was the U.S. government's selecting the engine to power the U.S. president's 747 aircraft, Air Force One.
In 2011, the CF6 celebrates 40 years in service, solidifying its position as the cornerstone of the wide-body, high bypass turbofan engine business at GE.
In 1971, Snecma selected GE as a partner in the development of a smaller commercial turbofan engine. This joint venture, known as CFM International, would become one of the greatest success stories in aviation history.
This collaboration allowed for an engine based on Snecma's fan technology and the core technology of GE's F101 engine. The GE/Snecma collaboration was founded on a desire to gain a share of the short-to-medium-range aircraft market, dominated in the early 1970s by low bypass engines. GE wanted to develop a powerplant to compete with the low bypass Pratt & Whitney JT8D engine on the Boeing 737-100/-200 and McDonnell Douglas DC-9 twinjets, as well as the Boeing 727 trijet.
Although CFM was formally established in 1974, the company did not receive its first order until 1979, when the CFM56-2 turbofan engine was selected to re-engine DC-8 Series 60 aircraft, reidentified as DC-8 Super 70s. Then the USAF selected the military version of the CFM56-2, designated the F108 in this application, to re-engine its fleet of KC-135 tanker aircraft to the KC-135R configuration. With these landmark orders, the CFM56 was on its way. Today, there are several engine lines that make up the CFM family.
The CFM56-2 powers more than 550 commercial and military aircraft worldwide. The CFM56-3 powers approximately 2,000 Boeing 737 aircrafts.
The CFM56-5A/-5B engines power the Airbus Industrie A318, A319, A320, and A321. The CFM56-5C is the exclusive powerplant for the long-range, four-engine Airbus A340.
The CFM56-7, powerplant for the Boeing Next-Generation 737-600/-700/-800/-900 series, the best-selling Boeing 737 family yet, was launched in late 1993.
Production ramp-up of the CFM56-7 engine for the 737 aircraft was unprecedented in commercial aviation, while CFM56 production for Airbus aircraft also grew dramatically.
CFM International continues to advance jet engine propulsion. In 1995, the company made history when the first engine equipped with a double annular combustor (DAC), the CFM56-5B, entered commercial service with Swissair. This afforded airliners a 35 percent reduction in emissions.
CFM56 Project TECH56, a technology acquisition program launched in 1998, is advancing technology for upgrades to existing engines, as well as serving as the basis for potential new and derivative CFM56 engines.
In 2008, CFM International launched LEAP-X, an entirely new baseline turbofan engine to power future replacements for current narrow-body aircraft. This engine will incorporate revolutionary technologies developed over the last three years as part of the LEAP56 technology acquisition program.
In 2009 the LEAP-X development program reached its first milestone as the first core, eCore 1, successfully completed the first phase of testing. Aimed at offering better fuel efficiency, the first full demonstrator engine is scheduled to run in 2010; and LEAP-X could be certified by 2016.
Today, nearly 21,000 CFM engines are in service with more than 450 customers around the world, and Every two seconds of every day, a CFM-powered aircraft takes off somewhere in the world.
MARINE & INDUSTRIAL GAS TURBINES
As the world's leading manufacturer of aircraft gas turbines, it was a logical step for GE to expand its activities into the marine and industrial arenas. To date, more than 1,800 aeroderivative gas turbine engines have been sold for marine and industrial use.
In 1959, GE introduced the LM1500, a derivative of the very successful J79. The LM1500 was initially installed aboard a hydrofoil ship.
In 1968, GE launched the LM2500, a nominal 20,000-shaft-horsepower gas turbine based on the TF39 engine. The LM2500 has become the mainstay of GE's current marine and industrial business, with more than fifty classes of ships in 24 world navies and several fast ferries. In the 1980s, GE introduced the LM1600, based on the F404 engine. During the 1990s, improved, lower-emission versions of the LM2500, LM1600, and LM6000 were introduced.
GE Industrial Aeroderivative Gas Turbines, part of GE Power Systems, has assumed responsibility for design, development and production of aeroderivative gas turbines for industrial applications. GE Industrial Aeroderivative Gas Turbines is headquartered at the Evendale plant, as is GE Marine Engines, which remains a part of GE Aviation.
LEADERSHIP INTO 21st CENTURY
The World's Most Powerful Jet Engine
In the early 1990s, GE developed the GE90 turbofan engine to power the large, twin-engine Boeing 777. The GE90 family, with the baseline engine certified on the 777 in 1995, has produced a world's record steady-thrust level of 122,965 pounds. To honor this achievement, the latest GE90 engine, GE90-115B was named "the world's most powerful jet engine" by the Guinness Book Of World Records. The GE90-115B engine has the world's largest fan (128 inches), composite fan blades and the highest engine bypass ratio (9:1) to produce the greatest propulsive efficiency of any commercial transport engine.
In July 1999, The Boeing Company selected the GE90-115B derivative engine as the exclusive engine for its longer-range 777-200LR and -300ER aircraft, in one of the most significant wins in GE's history.
The GE90-115B represents the successful culmination of GE's strategy to build a new centerline GE90 engine specifically for the Boeing 777 aircraft family. The GE90-115B powered 777-300ER entered passenger service in 2004.
Ushering in the Regional Jet Era
In the early 1990s, GE also introduced the CF34 turbofan engine, based on the TF34 military engines for the Fairchild Republic A-10 and Lockheed S-3A. The CF34-3A and -3B engines power Bombardier CL601 and CL604 corporate aircraft, and the CF34-3A1 and -3B1 power the highly successful Bombardier 50-passenger CRJ100 and CRJ200 regional airliners.
In the late 1990s, GE developed the CF34-8 family of engines, which power the Bombardier CRJ700 and CRJ900 and the EMBRAER 170 and EMBRAER 175 regional airliners. More recently, GE developed the CF34-10 family of engines, which power the EMBRAER 190 and EMBRAER 195 regional airliners.
In 2002, COMAC of China selected the CF34-10 engine to power the ARJ21 regional jet.
November 2008 marked the beginning of the flight test program for the GE-powered ARJ21 aircraft and thus the maiden flight of China's first domestically developed regional jet aircraft,
COMAC has already taken orders for more than 200 ARJ21 regional jet aircraft and sees a potential market for 850 aircraft in the next 20 years. This represents a potential of more than $4 billion in CF34 revenue for GE Aviation.
The inherently quiet CF34 helps make travel comfortable and more productive. Low noise also contributes to greater operational flexibility. GE is so committed to the CF34, that it has invested more than $1 billion over the last decade. The NG34 technology development program is underway at GE Aviation, and this program will provide the latest technology for the next generation regional jet engine.
Powering the largest commercial airliner
The Engine Alliance, a 50/50 joint venture between GE 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.
The GP7200 is derived from two of the most successful wide-body engine programs in aviation history -- the GE90 and PW4000 families. Building on the GE90 core and the PW4000 low spool heritage, the GP7200 delivers unprecedented performance, reliability, environmental levels, and customer value.
In 2001, Air France launched the advanced GP7200 engine on the new Airbus A380-800. Seven years later, in 2008, the GP7200 entered revenue service powering the Emirates' A380-800 aircraft. And most recently, the Engine Alliance celebrated its 100th engine delivered to Airbus.
Setting new standards for engine efficiency
With the selection of GE to power Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner aircraft, GE has launched the development of a new commercial jet engine - the GEnx. The GEnx engine will produce 55,000 to 70,000 pounds of thrust. Ultimately, the GEnx will replace GE's highly successful CF6 engine family, a workhorse for commercial and military wide-body aircraft for 40 years.
The GEnx engine is designed to meet or exceed Boeing' aggressive performance targets for its new twin-engine 787 aircraft. The 787 will carry 200 to 250 passengers up to 8,300 nautical miles and is expected to use 20 percent less fuel than today's aircraft of comparable size.
Through performance improvement programs, the GEnx continues to sell. The GEnx-2B engine was selected to power Boeing's 747-8, and in February 2010, this engine powered the maiden flight of Boeing's 747-8 aircraft.
Also in the GEnx family, the GEnx-1B engine, selected for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, received airworthiness engine certification from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. In June 2010, the GEnx-1B engine completed its first flight on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and remains the fastest selling engine in GE's history with about 1,300 engines on order.
GOING BEYOND THE ENGINE
In 2007, GE acquired Smiths Aerospace, a U.K.-based supplier of integrated systems for aircraft manufacturers and components for engine builders. The acquisition broadened GE's offerings for aviation customers by adding innovative flight management systems, electrical power management, mechanical actuation systems and airborne platform computing systems to GE Aviation's commercial and military aircraft engines and related services. This segment of the business was named GE Aviation Systems
Two years later, GE acquired Naverus, Inc., a privately owned, Washington-based supplier of advanced Performance-based Navigation (PBN) services, including Required Navigation Performance (RNP) procedure development, PBN procedure maintenance, operations support and consulting for airlines, air navigation service providers and airports.
Naverus' RNP technology, combined with GE's existing suite of avionics and flight management systems, enables GE to better address customers' needs for air traffic management service solutions.
In 2009, GE Aviation Systems reached a milestone, supplying the Boeing 787 Dreamliner with aircraft systems from take-off to touch-down, the common core system and the landing gear system, on the aircraft's maiden flight test.
Recently, GE made history by debuting the first commercially designed flight path in the United States. Naverus designed the path, which incorporates RNP, a core component of the FAA's NextGen airspace modernization plan. RNP paths can be custom-tailored to reduce airport congestion, shorten trip distance, reduce an aircraft's time in flight, and create community-friendly flight trajectories that lessen the effect of aircraft noise.
COMMITMENT TO BUSINESS & GENERAL AVIATION
In early 2008, GE Aviation created a new organization dedicated to the business and general aviation market.
Business, Personal, Agricultural & Utility Turboprops
Later that year, GE expanded its presence in the industry with the acquisition of certain assets of Walter Engines, a Czech Republic-based manufacturer of small turboprop engines and high-precision machined parts for the aviation industry. The acquisition broadened GE's offerings for aviation customers and enables the company to enter the fastest growing aviation segment- the small, twin-engine turboprop aircraft.
Following the acquisition, GE launched a new turboprop derivative engine based on the M601 engine called the H-80, for the utility, agriculture and retrofit aircraft segments. The following year, Thrush Aircraft selected the H80 to power its Thrush 510G Aerial Applicator. This marked the first application for the H80 engine and the first North American new engine installation for the Walter M601 engine family. In 2010, the H80 engine successfully completed its first flight on the Thrush 510G aircraft.
In July 2009, GE named the Power 90 as the preferred engine conversion for the King Air 90, and GE named Smyrna Air Center the designated engine installer for the Walter M601E on the King Air 90. To date, more than a dozen King Airs have been converted to M601E-11A engine power.
Small Cabin Business Aviation
In 2004, GE and Honda formed a 50/50 joint venture, called GE Honda Aero Engines, based in Cincinnati, Ohio. The joint company integrates the resources of GE and Honda Aero, Inc., a Honda subsidiary established to manage its aviation engine business. The GE Honda HF120 engine was launched in 2006 and selected to power Honda Aircraft Company's advanced light jet, the HondaJet, and the Spectrum Aeronautical "Freedom" business jet. The HF120 took its maiden flight on the HondaJet in late 2010.
Integrating the technology and quality of GE and Honda, the HF120 turbofan from GE Honda Aero Engines has been developed with the future of business aviation in mind. The HF120, designed to stay on-wing over 40% longer than other business jet engines, began testing in 2009. It is expected to enter service fully mature from an extensive testing program, with a target of more than 15,000 hours in testing.
Large Cabin Business Aviation
In 2010, Bombardier selected GE Aviation to provide the integrated powerplant system for the new Global 7000 and Global 8000 business jets, launching the development of a new business jet engine for GE, called the Passport engine.
The Passport engine will further strengthen GE's presence in the ultra long-range, large cabin business aviation segment, which includes aircraft that can travel up to 7,900 nautical miles with eight passengers. The engine will incorporate advanced technologies from both GE's commercial and military engines developed with the company's annual $1B investment in new technology research and development.
EXPANDING PRESENCE IN EMERGING MARKETS
GE Aviation continues to increase its presence in China, with close to 2,000 GE and CFM56 engines now in service. An additional 1,000 GE and CFM engines are on order.
The best-selling aircraft in China are the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 families, which are powered by the CFM56 engines. GE's GEnx engines have been very popular with customers in the region, with orders for 44 787 Boeing Dreamliners with GEnx engines. GE's GE90, CF6 and CF34 engines are also flying with many carriers in the region.
GE is working with Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) on the new ARJ21 aircraft, powered by GE's CF34-10A engine. COMAC has form orders for 85 ARJ21s and sees a market for up to 850 ARJ21s in 20 years, which represents a potential to GE of more than $4 billion in engine revenues.
In 2009, GE Aviation and AVIC Systems of China announced they would form a new joint venture company to develop and market integrated avionics systems for commercial aircraft customers.
The new avionics company, headquartered in China, will offer fully integrated, open architecture avionics and services for future commercial aircraft programs.
Enhancing GE's role within the Chinese aviation market, the advanced LEAP-X1C engine was selected as a sole powerplant for the COMAC C919 Aircraft. COMAC has forecasted a global market for more than 2,000 C919 aircraft over the 20 years following entry into service.
COMAC has opted for a complete Integrated Propulsion System (IPS) for the C919. CFM will provide the engine, provisionally called the LEAP-X1C, and, in partnership with Nexcelle, which will provide the nacelle and thrust reverser to deliver a complete IPS solution to COMAC. Launched in 2008, Nexcelle is a 50/50 joint venture between GE's Middle River Aircraft Systems and SAFRAN Group's Aircelle.
GE's expansion into emerging markets is seen also in the Middle East. At the 2010 Farnborough Air Show, Emirates ordered 30 GE90-115B-powered Boeing 777-300ER aircraft valued at $2 billion list price. Emirates also signed a 12-year OnPoint
In 2009, at the Paris Air Show, GE landed $8 billion in orders. Highlights of the order included Etihad's selection of the GEnx-1B engine to power its new fleet of 35 Boeing 787-9 aircraft and 10 GE90-115B-powered Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. The total value of both engine orders was worth $2.2 billion (USD) list price.
Also in 2009, GE and Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Development Company signed an extensive agreement that expands GE's global network of engine maintenance, repair and overhaul providers in the Middle East and further advances Mubadala's plans to build a global MRO network centered in Abu Dhabi.
LOOKING TO THE FUTUREAs the business has expanded the offering to include engines, systems, and services, GE Aviation has become a leading supplier within the aviation industry. Notwithstanding past accomplishments, GE continues to look toward the future and is developing new technologies today that will inspire aviation tomorrow.