GE90 Undergoes Unprecedented Development Program
LE BOURGET - GE (USA)* Aircraft Engines' ultra-high-thrust GE90 engine is undergoing the most extensive development program ever undertaken by the company.
From Boeing Field in Seattle, the two GE90-powered Boeing 777 certification flight test aircraft have flown more than 88 flights (270+ hours). The GE90 has logged more than 4,700 hours, including 45 flights (229 flight hours) on GE's modified Boeing 747 flying testbed. Overall, this engine program has completed more than 13,400 cycles and demonstrated excellent hot section durability.
Seven engines have operated at more than 100,000 pounds of thrust, with one achieving a record-breaking 110,000 pounds of thrust. In fact, GE90 development engines have sustained thrust levels in excess of 100,000 pounds for more than 65 hours.
The GE90 growth program is proceeding on schedule with development of the 92,000 pound (409 kN) thrust GE90-92B. The higher thrust GE90-92B, which is set for certification in May 1996, requires only minimal changes to the low pressure system and high pressure turbine. As a result, most on the certification testing for this engine was completed as part of the initial GE90 certification program. Entry into service will coincide with the introduction of the Boeing 777B. Commonality is an inherent strength of the GE90 engine family, which means fewer customer expenditures for new training, tooling, inventory, and facilities as the engine family expands.
"The GE90 growth engine will provide airlines with many significant advantages," said Russ Sparks, general manager of the GE90 Project at GE Aircraft Engines. "Customers can expect increased capability in hot climates and at high altitude airports. And we will continue to evolve the GE90 to meet the future requirements of the longer-range 'B' market and stretch 777 aircraft."
British Airways, China Southern, Continental, Euralair, International Leasing and Finance Corporation, and Lauda Air have ordered 120 GE90 engines (firm and option) at a value of $1.5 billion.
The GE90, which incorporates technology from the highly successful CF6 and CFM56** engine families, is designed to ensure high reliability and low maintenance costs for its customers. Snecma of France, FiatAvio of Italy, and IHI of Japan are revenue-sharing participants in the GE90 development program.