GEnx Engine Completes Flight Tests on GE's Flying Testbed and Verifies Boeing 787 Electrical Requirements
EVENDALE, Ohio -- With more than 34 flights and 187 hours in the air, the GEnx engine has completed its four months of flight-testing aboard the GE 747 flying test-bed, accomplishing all major objectives, including aircraft level testing to support Boeing's 787 Dreamliner program.
"During the flight tests on GE's 747 flying test-bed, we verified the GEnx engine's design and electrical requirements for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner," said Tom Brisken, general manager of the GEnx program. "We conducted numerous tests with maximum horsepower extraction on the starter generators, demonstrated engine operability while generating the maximum electric power requirements envisioned for the 787 aircraft and confirmed the ability of the GEnx engine to successfully restart in flight at various conditions within the 787 flight envelope."
The flight test program required extensive modifications on GE's 747 flying test-bed, including the installation of a heat exchanger to dissipate the energy created by the two starter generators on the GEnx engine. GE's flying test-bed campaign validated the GEnx-1B engine's performance in real world flight conditions, which cannot be fully achieved during ground testing.
GE has also successfully completed its emissions certification testing. The GEnx engine has demonstrated levels of NOX, hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide emissions lower than pre-test predictions and significantly better than present and future regulations. The GEnx's advanced twin-annular, pre-swirler or TAPS combustor will produce fewer smog-causing emissions than the maximum allowed by 2008 international standards or up to 94 percent margin to those future standards.
In addition, GE has recently successfully completed its bird ingestion certification tests at the Peebles, Ohio, outdoor test facility. These tests required ingestion of four 2.5 lb. birds and one 5.5 lb bird, while maintaining required levels of thrust. The GEnx passed the tests with minimal fan blade distress or loss of thrust, validating the GEnx's wide chord composite blades developed from the successful GE90 family of engines.
Since March 2006, the GEnx development engines have accumulated more than 2,000 hours of testing. Engine certification is scheduled for later this year.
Based on the highly successful GE90 architecture, the GEnx engine is one of the most fuel-efficient and lowest emissions jet engines ever. It will succeed GE's CF6 family, the best-selling engine on wide-body aircraft. About 870 GEnx engines have been sold to 30 customers, making it the fastest-selling large engine in GE Aviation history.
The GEnx engine, which will power both the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the 747-8 Intercontinental, is the world's only jet engine with both a front fan case and fan blades made of composites, which provide for greater engine durability, weight reduction and lower operating costs. The fan blades will utilize GE90 composite technology that has performed extremely well, with no routine on-wing maintenance required and no in-service issues for more than a decade.
The GEnx is part of GE's "ecomagination" product portfolio--GE's commitment to develop new, cost-effective technologies that enhance customers' environmental and operating performance. The GEnx's composite and combustion technologies are unique to the commercial aviation industry.
GE Aviation, an operating unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE), is a world-leading provider of commercial and military jet engines and components as well as integrated digital, electric power, and mechanical systems for aircraft. GE Aviation also has a global service network to support these offerings.