February 24, 2004
SINGAPORE -- GE's CF34-10 engine, the newest, largest and most powerful addition to GE's CF34 family of powerplants for regional aviation, is currently undergoing flight-testing at the GE Aircraft Engines (GEAE) Flight Test Operation at Victorville, California.
The flight-test program began on November 11 and will continue through this month. A total of 32 flights will include stall mapping, component stability, controls performance during high-speed transients and air-starts, nacelle cooling, high-altitude takeoffs, and high angle-of-attack maneuvers to assess inlet compatibility.
The CF34-10E engine, scheduled to enter service with JetBlue Airlines in 2005, is the powerplant for the 90- to 110-passenger EMBRAER 190 and EMBRAER 195 commercial airliners manufactured by Brazil's Embraer. The CF34-10E is rated at 18,500 pounds of thrust.
Under the terms of a contract signed last November, GE's CF34-10A engine, rated at 18,000 pounds of thrust, is the powerplant for China's ARJ21 regional jet aircraft. The ARJ21 is scheduled to begin flight-testing in 2006, with entry into service targeted for 2007. China's AVIC I Commercial Aircraft Co. Ltd. (ACAC) and GEAE anticipate a market for 500 ARJ21 aircraft over the next 20 years.
GEAE introduced the CF34-1 in 1983 as the powerplant for Bombardier's Challenger business aircraft. Within the decade, Bombardier selected CF34-3 engines, rated in the 9,000-pound-thrust class, to power its new CRJ100 and CRJ200 50-passenger regional jets. Since then, the CF34-3 engine has accumulated more than 12 million flight-hours and has proven itself as regional aviation's most reliable engine.
GEAE has invested more than $1.5 billion in improving the CF34-3 series engines and in developing its more powerful CF34-8 and CF34-10 engines for higher-capacity regional jets. The CF34-8C1, rated at 13,800 pounds of thrust, powers the Bombardier 70-passenger CRJ700 aircraft, which entered service in 2002. The CF34-8C5, rated at 14,500 pounds of thrust, entered service in April 2003, powering the Bombardier 90-passenger CRJ900. The CF34-8E, also rated at 14,500 pounds of thrust, is the powerplant for the EMBRAER 170 and EMBRAER 175, which are currently undergoing flight-testing.
Today, approximately 1,700 CF34 engines are powering regional jets for more than 30 airlines, with an additional 500-plus CF34 engines powering corporate jets. In 2003, GE Aircraft Engines increased its CF34 engine order book by more than 500 engines, with delivery of more than 450 engines anticipated for 2004.