GE90-115B Engine Completes 3,000-Cycle ETOPS Ground Demonstration
EVENDALE, OHIO - A GE90-115B development engine has completed 3,000 cycles and three 330-minute diversions as part of an extended twin-engine operations (ETOPS) ground demonstration. During the ETOPS ground demonstration, the development engine was the first GE90-115B engine to operate at more than two times the production vibration limits in both the high-pressure and low-pressure systems at multiple thrust levels.
This ETOPS ground demonstration is part of the most aggressive maturation test program ever devised by GE Aircraft Engines (GEAE) for a commercial engine. The four-year maturation test program will involve three development GE90-115B engines and will simulate approximately 20 years of typical airline service on an engine. Engineers will evaluate the development engines to resolve durability issues before they occur in the field.
"We are thrilled with how well the engine performed during this rigorous and aggressive test program," said Chaker Chahrour, general manager of the GE90 Project. "We are now conducting a complete teardown and piece-part inspection to identify leading indicators of durability issues."
Originally, the ETOPS program allowed airlines to fly twin-engine jetliners on extended routes that were as much as 60 minutes flying time from an alternative airport. Over the years, ETOPS standards have been extended as propulsion technology has delivered greater reliability levels. Recently, the Federal Aviation Administration proposed new rules that standardize the requirements for ETOPS. This rule provides criteria for diversion times of 180 minutes and beyond. The progression of ETOPS certification requirements underscores the importance of the 330-minute diversion testing currently under way.
The GE90-115B, the world's most powerful jet engine, was certified at an unprecedented 115,000 pounds of thrust. It is the powerplant for Boeing's new 777-300ER and 777-200LR aircraft. The 777-300ER is scheduled to enter passenger service in early 2004.
GE Aircraft Engines (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 and GE. GEAE also manufactures gas turbines, derived from its highly successful jet engine programs, for marine and industrial 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.