GE’s Passport engine for Bombardier Global 7000/8000 begins flight-testing on historic 747
Victorville, California — GE Aviation's Passport engine for Bombardier’s new Global 7000 and Global 8000 business jets began flight-testing on GE Aviation’s 747-100 flying test-bed.
On December 30, 2014, a single Passport engine successfully demonstrated aircraft systems and instrumentation functionality. Flight-testing will continue into January prior to expected FAA certification in 2015.
"This is a landmark day for the Passport program – we couldn’t ask for a better performance to close out an impressive year of testing,” said Brad Mottier, vice president and general manager of GE Aviation's Business & General Aviation and Integrated Services division. "Since its first test in 2013, the Passport engine has met or exceeded our expectations, giving us great confidence as we close in on certification."
To date, the Passport engine’s has accumulated more than 750 hours and 300 cycles of testing. Before entry into service, the Passport engine will accumulate the equivalent of 10 years of flying for an average Bombardier* Global 7000* or Global 8000* aircraft operator, with more than 4000 hours and 8000 cycles.
The first flight of the Passport engine completes a busy year of testing. Most recently, GE completed hail and bird ingestion certification tests and is currently instrumenting Passport engines for water ingestion and fan blade out certification tests, which will commence in the coming weeks. In April, ice ingestion tests were completed at GE's icing facility in Winnipeg, Manitoba. In February, ground testing in an altitude chamber at GE Aviation's headquarters in Evendale, Ohio, demonstrated engine performance and operability from sea-level to 51,000 feet.
The Passport engine’s first flight occurred on GE’s flying test laboratory, a modernized 747-100. It was the 16th aircraft shipped off the original Boeing 747 production line, entering service for Pan Am in 1972.
The Passport engine for the Global 7000 and Global 8000 business jets will produce 16,500 pounds of thrust and will incorporate advanced technologies and materials to provide: 8% lower specific fuel consumption than engines in its class; margin to CAEP/6 emissions and to Stage 4 noise regulations; and world-class reliability and support.
The Passport engine benefits from the breadth of GE's large commercial engine experience. It will have a high performance core similar to LEAP derived from the eCore program, materials and design conditions similar to the GE90 and GEnx engines, low emission technology from the GP7200 and advanced technology such as the blisk and composites, from military engines.
Among the engine technologies: a composite fan case to reduce weight, a unique 52-inch front fan blisk for lower cabin noise and vibration and technologies from GE's eCore suite to lower emissions and improve fuel efficiency. The Passport's integrated propulsion system from Nexcelle, a joint venture between GE and Safran, will feature a slim-line nacelle with clam-shell cowl opening to reduce weight and drag while allowing for easy maintenance access and high dispatch availability.
Passport's high pressure compressor (HPC) blades and blisks feature a unique super finish surface, which makes the blades four times smoother than traditional blades. The super finish allows the air to pass more efficiently over the blades, resulting in lower fuel consumption. The surface finish also allows the blades to better retain their efficiency and performance by creating a layer of air, which guards against contaminants that might stick to traditional blades.
The Passport engine marks the commercial debut of oxide-oxide (Ox-Ox) CMC materials. Ox-Ox materials will be used on three parts: exhaust mixer, centerbody and core cowls. This lightweight material is resistant to high temperatures found in the exhaust area. These advantages will enhance the engine's durability and lower fuel consumption. Ox-Ox was introduced on GE's F414 exhaust seals in 2011 to improve durability.
GE Aviation, an operating unit of GE (NYSE: GE), is a world-leading provider of jet, turboprop and turboshaft engines, components and integrated systems for commercial, military, business and general aviation aircraft. GE Aviation has a global service network to support these offerings. For more information, visit us at www.ge.com/aviation.