Development of Enhanced GE90 Engine on Target
FARNBOROUGH - GE Aircraft Engines is testing an enhanced GE90 with new technologies to increase on-wing life, fuel burn, and thrust on the Boeing 777.
The GE90's Performance Improvement Program (PIP) will further enhance the engine's industry-leading fuel burn and payload capability.
PIP improvements will provide the GE90 with an exhaust gas temperature (EGT) margin enhancement of up to 20oC, a fuel burn reduction of approximately 1.7 percent, and the capability to boost thrust up to 93,000 pounds.
These performance improvements are being achieved through advanced 3-D aerodynamic design in the compressor and optimized rotor-to-stator clearances in the fan and turbines.
Earlier this summer, core engine tests were successfully run at GE's altitude facility in Evendale, Ohio. A full GE90 engine was put on test in August at GE's outdoor test facility at Peebles, Ohio.
Later this year, the enhanced GE90 engine will operate on GE's 747 flying testbed aircraft at Mojave, California. Certification by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is expected in December 1999. Boeing 777 aircraft powered by the GE90 PIP engine are targeted for delivery beginning in mid-2000.
"Increased customer value is a primary driver in our decision to introduce these new improvements in the engine," said Chaker Chahrour, general manager of GE90 project. "We also have our eye on the engine's growth potential for the future. Testing to date has confirmed realization of our overall objectives."
A prime benefit of the PIP--reduced fuel burn-will provide cost savings from the lower fuel requirement and lower fuel weight, allowing a greater proportion of aircraft takeoff weight to be devoted to increased payload.
The GE90 currently offers roughly a 1.4 percent advantage in fuel burn compared to competing engines. This GE90 edge translates to savings of up to $150,000 (U.S.) in fuel and up to $540,000 in revenues attributable to increased payload capacity in a typical year's operation.
The PIP fuel burn improvement of an additional 1.7% more than doubles the GE90's advantage with a proportionate increase in cumulative revenues. Over 15 years, the cumulative net present value of the fuel savings on a Boeing 777 powered by GE90 PIP engines could exceed $2 million, and the revenue from increased payload capacity could exceed $14 million.
The PIP is also expected to enhance the GE90's performance retention. On-wing life is a function of EGT margin and deterioration rate. A lower deterioration rate combined with a 20o C higher EGT margin yields a substantial increase in the engine's on-wing life.
"Development and certification of advanced 3D aerodynamic technology represents a significant financial commitment over the next two years and demonstrates GEAE's long-term commitment to the GE90 engine program," said Chahrour.
Approximately 30 percent of all 777 aircraft currently in service and on order are powered by GE90 engines, but 42 percent of the newer, best-selling 777-200ER aircraft are powered by the GE90. The fleet of GE90-powered Boeing 777 twinjets in service will more than double in size from 26 aircraft to 58 aircraft during 1998 due largely to the sale of GE90-powered 777-200ER aircraft. GE90-powered 777s currently fly a total of 15 ETOPS (extended-range, twin-engine operations) routes at five airlines.
The 32 new GE90-powered aircraft delivered in 1998 include first-time deliveries to International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC), which already has lease agreements with Aeroflot Russian International Airlines, Air France and China Southern Airlines. Air France and China Southern Airlines also own GE90-powered 777 aircraft. Other new owners of GE90-powered 777s in 1998 include Continental Airlines and Kuwait Airways, which join British Airways, China Southern Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines, and Lauda Air. In all, the GE90 is the engine of choice of 11 customers to power 135 firm and option 777 aircraft.