GE90-94B Concludes Highly Successful Flight Test Program
EVENDALE, OHIO - The GE90-94B recently completed a highly successful test program on GE's 747 flying test bed, and is now scheduled for ice testing at GE Aircraft Engines' outdoor test facility at Peebles, Ohio.
The ice accretion tests, which are required for U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification, are designed to demonstrate an aircraft engine's ability to withstand the most severe of icing conditions, with no disruption in power. GE engineers will begin preparing the engine immediately following post-flight test calibration, and plan to initiate ice accretion testing in December.
A second GE90-94B, currently on test at Snecma in France, has completed 500 cycles of endurance testing. Upon completion of a series of tests required for FAA FAR 33 certification, this engine will conduct additional endurance testing through December. To date, the GE90-94B engines have completed more than 600 hours of ground and flight testing.
The GE90-94B features a new, three-dimensional aerodynamic (3-D aero) high pressure compressor (HPC) - a key component of the Performance Improvement Program (PIP) to be incorporated into the GE90-115B engine currently under development. Rated at 94,000 pounds of thrust, the -94B engine configuration will power the Boeing 777-200ER (Extended Range) aircraft of launch customer Air France. The 115,000-pound-thrust GE90-115B is the sole powerplant for Boeing's new 777X twinjet.
The 19-flight, 95-hour flying test bed program, completed at GE Aircraft Engines flight test operations facility in Mojave, California, verified the -94B's 3-D aero HPC design meets all of its technical objectives.
"The GE90-94B demonstrated outstanding fuel burn, operability, and air start performance," said Chaker Chahrour, general manager of the GE90 project. "This flight test program, along with earlier ground tests, confirm that the advanced 3-D aero-equipped GE90-94B engine will operate unrestricted throughout the Boeing 777-200ER flight envelope."
Boeing pilots commanded a five-hour long flight aboard the 747 test bed.
"The operational characteristics of the -94B are right in line with the operational requirements of the Boeing 777," said Frank Santoni, chief test pilot for Boeing Commercial Aviation Group. "The engine complements the aircraft very well."
The complete PIP package will provide a 1.4 percent fuel burn advantage, and a 17 degree Celsius increase in exhaust gas temperature margin, relative to the current GE90 production engine.
GE90-94B-powered Boeing 777-200ER program milestones:
- GE90-94B ice accretion testing completion: January 2000
- FAA FAR 33 (engine) certification: April 2000
- GE90-94B-powered Boeing 777 first flight: May 2000
- FAA FAR 25 (aircraft/engine combination) certification: September 2000
- GE90-94B-powered B777 entry into service: November 2000