GE Transportation - Aircraft Engines produces the quietest, cleanest, and most fuel-efficient jet engines in the world--in some cases, by a long shot. This distinction didn't happen by accident--or overnight.
Over the past several years, GE has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in breakthroughs to make its engines more environment-friendly than ever. Simply put: There are "green" technologies in GE engines found nowhere else.
Over the next several years, the regulatory agencies overseeing airport noise and aircraft emissions are implementing more stringent limits. Most of GE's current production engines already meet or fall well within these limits.
For future engine designs, GE is developing advanced new technologies, from exhaust nozzles to advanced combustor concepts, that will meet even tougher requirements long before they become law. Anticipating increasingly stringent noise and emission limits has long been an inherent part of GE's technology strategy and design philosophy.
When airlines wanted lower oxides of nitrogen (NOX) emissions for their new Airbus A320 series and Boeing 737 aircraft, GE was in a position to introduce the double-annular combustor (DAC) for the best-selling CFM56 engine, which are manufactured by CFM International, a 50/50 joint company of Snecma and General Electric Company. Developed initially through NASA and GE technology programs, the DAC burns fuel at lower temperatures in two stages, instead of the single stage in conventional combustors, to radically reduce NOX levels.
Building upon this technology, GE has launched the development of a new concept: the twin-annular, premixing swirler (TAPS) combustor. In development tests, this unique combustor has significantly lowered NOX to levels even lower than the DAC, in a package that delivers improved performance and lower cost and weight.
Across GE's engine models, we've improved the process by which air and fuel are mixed in the combustor to produce industry-leading low emission levels on various commercial aircraft, from jumbo jets to the new regional jets.
While leading the charge to lower jet engine emissions, GE is also reducing aircraft noise. A significant part of aircraft noise is created by the propulsion system, and GE is investing in advanced fan designs and components that lower engine noise.
The GE90 engine for the Boeing 777. is a classic case. Its fan blades, the largest in aviation, create an unprecedented amount of air flow through the engine to drastically improve fuel efficiency. Coupled with the world's highest pressure ratio compressor, the GE90's large fan blades are able to rotate slower - whereby producing the lowest noise of any engine powering jumbo jets. Also, the engine's exhaust air is moving at very low speed, so the noise it produces when mixed with the atmosphere is much less. The GE90 will meet the strictest noise standards for many years to come.
After years of development work, GE will introduce later this year a new exhaust nozzle into airline service that will significant reduce jet noise. Called the chevron nozzle, it improves the mixing of exhaust gases in the back of the engine. The chevron nozzle, yet another technology first for GE, will be a feature on the new CF34 engines powering the new regional jets entering passenger service over the next three years.
Environmental Health & Safety Commitment
Another valuable facet of our Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) initiative is the safety of our employees. GE has more employees involved in federal safety programs than any company in the world. Our injury and accident rates are at all-time lows, and we've been recognized globally as having a "best practices" EHS program. We insist on nothing less than 100 percent compliance with EHS laws and regulations. GE Transportation - Aircraft Engines employees in Cincinnati recently celebrated more than five million hours without a lost-time injury.
Here are a few highlights from GE's Integrity Guide and policy on Environment, Health & Safety:
- Comply with applicable EHS laws and regulations.
- Take appropriate measures to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses, and provide employees with a safe and healthy working environment. Consider evolving industry practices, regulatory requirements and societal standards of care.
- Assess EHS impacts before starting a new activity or project. Consider EHS impacts in the design and production of GE's products and services.