GE90-94B Development Approaches Key Milestones While Technologies Are Matured For Higher-Thrust Derivatives
PARIS, France - The GE90-94B, enhanced with advanced 3D aerodynamics for improved fuel burn and exhaust gas temperature (EGT) margins, is undergoing installation on GE Aircraft Engines' 747 flying testbed in Mojave, California.
Arrival and installation of the 94,000-pound thrust -94B on GE's flying testbed puts the GE90-94B on track for completion of certification testing by October, U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) FAR 33 certification by April 2000, and service entry by launch customer Air France (derated to 90,000 pounds of thrust) in November 2000.
The key benefits of the GE90-94B with advanced 3D aerodynamics in the high pressure compressor are increased thrust and reduced fuel burn. Because lower fuel requirements and lower fuel weight allow a greater proportion of aircraft takeoff weight to be devoted to increased payload, better fuel burn translates into lower customer costs and higher revenue generating capability.
The current 1.4 percent GE90 fuel burn advantage, for example, translates into an annual savings of up to $150,000 (U.S.) in fuel alone, and up to $540,000 in revenues directly attributable to increased payload capacity in a typical year's operation. The target 1.7 percent GE90-94B fuel burn improvement would more than double the GE90's advantage with a proportionate increase in cumulative revenues.
Another -94B advantage will be increased on-wing life because of a 20 degree Celsius improvement in EGT margin. An increase of EGT margin translates to greater on-wing life and customer savings.
The advanced 3D-aero GE90-94B compressor is also a key advantage as GEAE aggressively matures other technologies necessary for a 110,000 to 115,000-pound thrust class engine, designated the GE90-11XB, targeted for high gross weight versions of the Boeing 777 aircraft.
In addition to the advanced 3D-aero compressor development currently under way, GEAE is also completing development of other technologies identified for the GE90-11XB engine. They include: toughened composite fan blade material, blade-out load reduction features, increased torque fan midshaft material, high pressure turbine 3D-aero airfoils, and low pressure turbine low solidity airfoils.
These technologies are scheduled to be validated and matured by early 2000 and could support the development and service entry of a GE90-11XB derivative engine as early as mid-2003.
Both the GE90-94B and GE90-11XB will build upon the already outstanding performance of earlier GE90 versions in passenger revenue service for the past three and one-half years.
The GE90 has accumulated more than one-half million engine flight hours and is expected to achieve one million-mile engine flight hours by the end of 1999. GE90 customers enjoy a dispatch reliability of 99.93 percent and an in-flight shutdown rate of only 0.008 per engine flight hour. Key technologies, such as the all-composite fan blades, the 23 to 1 high pressure compressor and the dual annual combustor are delivering the lowest fuel burn, lowest noise and lowest total emissions on the 777 aircraft. In fact, no composite fan blades have been scrapped since the initial service entry in November 1995 for any reason.
The GE90 is the engine of choice of 12 airline customers to power 112 firm and 21 option Boeing 777 aircraft.