GE90 Engine Establishes New Thrust Record During Tests
EVENDALE, Ohio - During its initial ground tests, a GE90 engine achieved unprecedented power for a jet engine, reaching 120,316 pounds of thrust.
The record-setting thrust level was established on November 19 during tests of a GE90-115B development engine at GE Aircraft Engines' outdoor test complex near Peebles, Ohio.
The engine reached 120,316 pounds of thrust and then ran at a steady state of 117,446 pounds of thrust. During the first phase of ground tests this fall, the engine is targeted to complete 150 hours of testing to measure thrust, performance, cross-wind capability, and fan blade stress levels.
"We first put the engine to test on Friday (16th), set a new thrust record on Sunday, and broke it again on Monday," said Chaker Chahrour, general manager, GE90 Project Department. "This achievement is a testimony to the effectiveness of GE Aircraft Engines' new engine development team and its methodology."
The GE90-115B, the world's most powerful turbofan engine, is the exclusive powerplant for Boeing's longer-range 777-300ER and -200LR twinjets.
In early 2002, the engine is scheduled to begin flight tests on GE's 747 flying testbed at Mojave, California. The GE90-115B is scheduled for FAR33 type certification (rated at 115,000 pounds of thrust) by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and the European Community's Joint Airworthiness Authorities in 2002.
Certification, first delivery, and entry into service of the 777-300ER is set for 2003. Air France, Japan Airlines, All Nippon, EVA, International Lease Finance, and GE Capital Aviation Services have ordered a total of 49 firm 777 longer-range aircraft.
The GE90-115B is part of the GE90 family, the best-selling engines for Boeing 777 aircraft models. In total, 17 customers have ordered 204 firm and 52 option GE90-powered 777 aircraft, with a firm engine value of more than $6.7 billion.
The GE90-115B features swept fan blades, a high-efficiency high-pressure compressor (HPC), and greater torque capability in the fan mid-shaft.
The GE90-115B's high-flow swept fan blades are manufactured from the same materials (fibers and resin system), and by the same process, as current GE90 blades. In more than six years and 2.3 million engine flight hours of airline service, the current fan blade has experienced more than 30 reported bird ingestion events, including a bird weighing more than three pounds, and remained fully serviceable. As robust as its predecessor, the swept fan blade adds approximately 2,000 pounds (8.9 kN) to the engine's thrust capability and provides better fuel burn. While the fan diameter is being increased from 123 inches to 128 inches for higher air flow, the fan case diameter increases only 1.5 inches. This design feature ensures the fan stator case, the largest component of the engine, remains fully transportable by traditional air and surface methods.
The GE90-115B HPC incorporates the same three-dimensional aerodynamic (3-D aero) design as the GE90-94B engine, which entered service in November 2000. The nine-stage, 3-D aero HPC blades and vanes will enable the -115B to achieve the efficiency required to produce 115,000 pounds (511 kN) of thrust. HPC testing in 2000 demonstrated that efficiency and flow capability have met the required levels; the variable stator vane schedule has been optimized; and excellent operability and stall margin have been demonstrated.
GE1014, the new high-strength steel alloy for the fan mid-shaft, significantly increases torque capability. As a result, the diameter of the mid-shaft remains the same, precluding modification of other core components.