The GE CF34-3B Engine Begins Flight Testing
LYNN, Massachusetts - Flight testing of GE's CF34-3B turbofan engine, the new powerplant for the Canadair Challenger 604 business jet, has begun at Canadair's flight test center at Wichita, Kansas.
"In December, the CF34-3B successfully completed the core testing required for FAA certification, including performance substantiation and the acquisition of compressor stress data," said Dudley Millikin, manager of Business Aviation Programs of GE Aircraft Engines. "We anticipate a very successful aircraft flight test program, and we expect the CF34-3B to receive FAA certification this spring.
"GE will be exploring improvements in the variable vane schedule of the engine core, which could further improve performance. That test phase will be followed by engine start testing at altitude."
The CF34-3B is characterized by cruise specific fuel consumption that is approximately 3 percent lower than that of earlier models of the CF34, resulting in a 5 to 7 percent increase in the range of the Challenger 604. Other operational improvements include a faster climb rate and shorter hot/high field takeoff capability.
GE achieved the -3B improvements through higher compressor air flow, greater compressor and turbine efficiency, improved clearance control, and a modest increase in turbine temperature and fan speed, both of which remain within specified limits. The -3B retains all the maintainability and long-life features of the CF34-3A1, which currently powers the Challenger 601 business jet and the Canadair Regional Jet airliner.