GE90-115B Maturation Program in Full Swing
FARNBOROUGH - The GE90-115B is entering its second year of the most aggressive jet engine maturation test program ever designed by General Electric Company.
A four-year program simulating approximately 20 years of typical airline service, the GE90-115B maturation program involves three GE90-115B full-up test engines, which will accumulate more than 30,000 cycles of simulated field operations by mid-2006, well ahead of any engine in revenue service. The test engines will be evaluated to identify and resolve any durability issues.
"We are 30 percent into our maturation program, and the engines have performed extremely well," said Chaker Chahrour, general manager of the GE90 Project. "The rigorous tests are enabling us to learn more about the engine and help us reduce maintenance costs by aligning repair development with the engine maintenance life cycle."
The fleet leader engine completed more than 2,700 cycles of endurance testing and is undergoing the first of five scheduled shop visits that will occur during 13,000 cycles of testing. At this shop visit, the engine will undergo routine maintenance and a new repair to the high-pressure compressor stage 1 blisk. Testing will resume in November 2004 at test sites of GE90 program revenue participants, IHI in Japan and Snecma Moteurs in France.
Last December, a second GE90-115B development engine completed 3,000 cycles and three 330-minute diversions at GE's test facility in Peebles, Ohio, as part of an extended twin-engine operations (ETOPS) ground demonstration. During the demonstration, the 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. A complete teardown and piece-part inspection of the engine hardware were performed, and the Federal Aviation Administration approved the teardown report. This development engine will be rebuilt for additional tests in 2005.
In April 2004, testing began on a third development engine to validate the durability of the engine's hot section. This engine has completed 1,150 hot extended cycles, which involve running the engine at more severe conditions than it will experience in the field. Testing will conclude later this summer, and the engine will undergo a teardown to determine the impact to the hot section. A second hot section test on this engine is scheduled for late 2005.
The world's most powerful jet engine, the GE90-115B is certified at an unprecedented 115,000 pounds (512 kN) thrust and serves as the powerplant for Boeing's 777-300ER and 777-200LR aircraft. A total of 76 longer-range 777s have been ordered, and the GE90-115B engine orders are valued at more than $2.6 billion. The first 777-300ER aircraft entered passenger service with Air France, in April 2004.
GE Transportation - Aircraft Engines, a part of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE), is one of the world's leading manufacturers of jet engines for civil and military aircraft.