EVENDALE, Ohio - GE Aircraft Engines today announced that the CF6 engine program is celebrating its 30th anniversary as the most successful large high-bypass turbofan engine in the world.

Over the past 30 years, the CF6 engine program has established an impressive operational record, including more than 6,000 CF6 engines in commercial service with over 212 million total flight hours.

"The engine's strong and ever-growing customer base is testament to GE's ability to design and build engines that exceed our customer's expectations," said Dave Calhoun, president and chief executive officer of GE Aircraft Engines.

Starting in 1971 with the 40,000-pound-thrust CF6-6 and continuing today with the newest, highest-thrust CF6 engine, the 72,000-pound-thrust CF6-80E1A3, CF6 engines have flown more hours than any other high-bypass engine family.

The outstanding reliability of GE's CF6 family of engines was one of the leading factors that enabled the aviation industry to realize the benefits of extended twin-engine operations (ETOPS). ETOPS approval provides airlines much greater route-scheduling flexibility as it allows twin-engine aircraft to service routes traditionally reserved for three- and four-engine aircraft. CF6 engines were the industry's first to receive U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) certification for 180-minute ETOPS.

"The CF6 engine program demonstrates GE's emphasis on solid engineering and design concepts," said Roger Seager, general manager of the CF6 Project. "With an average dispatch reliability rate of 99.96 percent, CF6 engines continue to show strong performance and reliability in the field."

GE Aircraft Engines, a division of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE), is the world's leading manufacturer of jet engines for civil and military aircraft, including engines produced by CFM International, a 50/50 joint company of Snecma of France and GE. GEAE also manufactures gas turbines, derived from its highly successful jet engine programs, for marine and industrial applications. 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.