GE Aircraft Engines Tests Fourth GE90-115B; Engine Begins Preparation For Flight Tests
FARNBOROUGH, England - GE Aircraft Engines (GEAE) has the fourth GE90-115B engine under test and is preparing for flight-testing on GE's Boeing 747 flying testbed in Mojave, California, later this year.
GEAE will have tested seven GE90-115B engines by August. To date, the engine has completed performance, crosswind, icing and hailstorm ingestion, and initial cyclic endurance testing, while accumulating 500 hours and 1000 cycles. Early testing demonstrated an unprecedented level of power for a jet engine, setting a Guinness World Record for sustained thrust at 122,965 pounds (547 kN).
In preparation for the upcoming 747 flying testbed program, GEAE has structurally modified the aircraft to handle the engine's higher thrust. In addition, Boeing has fabricated a new flight inlet and fan cowl and modified a GE90 thrust reverser to accommodate the larger fan diameter.
"We have completed the initial ground test phase," said Chaker Chahrour, general manager of the GE90 Project Department. "The GE90-115B is exceeding our expectations during testing conducted to date and now it is time to demonstrate the engine's capability in flight."
The GE90-115B began ground testing in November 2001 and is on schedule to support first flight of Boeing's 777-300ER in early 2003. GEAE will soon begin testing the fifth GE90-115B at the company's outdoor test facility near Peebles, Ohio. GEAE's test program includes a total of eight engines for the purpose of ensuring a mature service entry aboard the Boeing 777-300ER.
The GE90-115B is scheduled for FAR33 type certification at 115,000 pounds (511 kN) thrust by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and the European Community's Joint Airworthiness Authorities in December 2002 to support Boeing's 777-300ER flight test program. Service entry is set for March 2004. Air France, Japan Airlines, All Nippon, EVA, International Lease Finance Corporation, and GE Capital Aviation Services have ordered a total of 49 firm 777 longer-range aircraft.
Boeing anticipates a market demand for more than 500 of these longer-range 777 models, with about 45 percent of those airplanes going to Asian operators.
Snecma Moteurs, IHI and FiatAvio are participants on the GE90-115B engine program. The GE90-115B is the exclusive powerplant for Boeing's longer-range 777-300ER and -200LR twinjets.
GEAE, a division of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE), is the world's leading manufacturer of jet engines for civil and military aircraft, including engines produced by CFM International, a 50/50 joint company of Snecma Moteurs of France and GE. GEAE also manufactures gas turbines, derived from its highly successful jet engine programs, for marine applications. In addition, GEAE provides comprehensive maintenance support, through its GE Engine Services operation, for GE and non-GE jet engines in service throughout the world. Visit GEAE online at: http://www.geae.com.