Boeing Selects the GE90 Engine as Exclusive Powerplant for Longer-Range 777 Derivatives
EVENDALE, Ohio - Following an extensive technical evaluation, General Electric Co. has been chosen by The Boeing Company to develop a 115,000 pound-thrust GE90 derivative engine for all longer-range 777-200X and -300X derivatives.
"This is one of the most significant wins for GE Aircraft Engines in its long history," said James McNerney, president of GE Aircraft Engines. "The GE90-115B engine for the 777-200X and -300X will be the world's most powerful engine, using the most advanced engine technologies in commercial aviation history. This derivative engine represents the successful culmination of our original strategy in the early 1990s to build a new centerline engine for the Boeing 777 aircraft family."
"All three commercial engine companies offered good solutions for the new longer-range 777 airplanes," said Alan Mulally, president of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "GE was chosen to develop a GE90 derivative engine because it best met the overall evaluation criteria, including technical, schedule, customer service, and business requirements."
Boeing currently is in discussions with airlines considering the longer-ranged 777 models to provide more frequent, non-stop flights between more cities, rather than flying large numbers of passengers into major hub airports. The 777-300X model also would provide an efficient replacement aircraft for early wide-body models, such as the 747-200.
Specific program launch timing for the 777-200X and 777-300X will depend upon specific customer requirements, said John Roundhill, vice president of Boeing Commercial Airplanes' Product Strategy and Development. The current program schedule targets deliveries beginning in 2003.
The 777-200X would fly 10,100 statute miles, approximately 1,200 miles farther than today's 777-200ER (the world's longest-range in-service airplane) opening long-range, transpacific non-stop service. The same size as the 777-200, it would carry approximately 300 passengers in a three-class configuration.
The 777-300X would fly 8,300 statute miles, about 1,800 miles more than the 777-300 that entered service in 1998. The same size as the 777-300, the new derivative would carry about 360 passengers in a three-class configuration and provide the improved economics of twin-engine operations as a replacement for older 747s and tri-jets.
The 777-200X and -300X would have a maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) ranging from 700,000 pounds up to 750,000 pounds, with engine thrust up to 115,000 pounds on the -300X model. Changes would include a strengthened fuselage, tail and main landing gear and a new wing tip with 76 inches additional span on each side. The 777-200X and 777-300X will maintain the passenger comforts of the highly popular 777 interior.
"Because of the commonality of the two, we will be able to design the new family members simultaneously," said Roundhill. "With the 777-200X and 777-300X, we would be extending our 777 family as planned from the outset of the program. The newest members would help airlines optimize intercontinental growth markets as well as replace the older airplanes currently serving those routes."
The GE90-115B engine is derived from the highly successful GE90 engine family in service for three and one-half years for 12 airline customers. Launched with European revenue-sharing participants Snecma of France and FiatAvio of Italy, and Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries (IHI) of Japan, the GE90 family was the only new centerline engine developed for the Boeing 777. The GE90's all-composite fan blades, the 23 to 1 high pressure compressor, and dual annular combustor deliver the lowest fuel burn, lowest noise, and lowest total emissions on the 777. The GE90's basic architecture was designed to accommodate today's higher-thrust requirements.
Development of the GE90-115B derivative is well under way to meet the 2003 service entry date. The engine's compressor, enhanced with advanced 3D aerodynamics for improved fuel burn and exhaust gas temperature (EGT) margins, was also developed for the GE90-94B version on track for certification testing later this year. Other -115B technical features 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.
The GE90 has accumulated more than one-half million engine flight hours in revenue service and is expected to achieve one million engine flight hours by the end of 1999.