GE90-115B Completes 11,000 Cycles of its Unprecedented Maturation Program
SINGAPORE -- The GE90-115B, the world's most powerful jet engine, has completed a total of 11,000 cycles of ground and flight testing as a part of the most aggressive reliability and maturation test program ever devised by GE Aircraft Engines for a commercial engine entering passenger service.
The GE90-115B, which certified at an unprecedented 115,000 pounds of thrust, is the powerplant for Boeing's new 777-300ER and 777-200LR aircraft. U.S. and European regulatory certification of the 777-300ER is scheduled for March 2004. The first 777-300ER will be delivered in April 2004 to International Lease Finance Corp. and its customer, Air France.
To support a successful service entry, GE is conducting a four-year maturation test program involving three development GE90-115B engines to simulate approximately 20 years of typical airline service on the engine. Engineers will evaluate the development engines to resolve durability issues before they occur in the field.
"We are more than 25 percent complete on our maturation program," said Chaker Chahrour, general manager of the GE90 Engine Program. "The GE90-115B engines are performing extremely well during these rigorous tests that push the envelope in pursuing engine durability and reliability in an ETOPS (Extended Range Twin Engine Operations) environment."
Last summer, the GE90-115B maturation program began cyclic endurance testing of a fleet leader engine. This engine will complete a total of 13,000 cycles and five shop visits. This testing is underway at GE90 program revenue participants, IHI in Japan and Snecma Moteurs in France.
In December 2003, a second development engine completed 3,000-cycle ETOPS ground demonstration and three 330-minute diversions at GE's test facility in Peebles, Ohio. 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 engine is currently undergoing a complete teardown and piece-part inspection to identify leading indicators of durability issues.
A third development engine will undergo tests aimed at validating the durability of the engine's hot section components in mid-2004.
GEAE, a part of GE Transportation, is an operating unit of the General Electric Company (NYSE:GE). GEAE is one of the world's leading manufacturers of jet engines for civil and military aircraft, including engines produced by CFM International, a 50/50 joint company of Snecma Moteurs and GE. 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.