July 19, 2010
FARNBOROUGH -- Production is under way on GE Aviation's fastest-selling engine -- the GEnx engine that will power the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and 747-8 aircraft.
"The GEnx engine is having the fastest production ramp-up of any commercial engine in GE's history, with the production rate at 100 engines this year and doubling to 200 next year," said Tom Brisken, general manager of the GEnx program at GE Aviation. "The first GEnx-2B production engines arrived at Boeing in April for installation on the 747-8 to be delivered to Cargolux later this year."
GE will produce 60 GEnx-2B engines for the 747-8 aircraft and 40 GEnx-1B engines for the 787 Dreamliner at its Durham, North Carolina facility this year. Next year, GE plans to produce 200 GEnx engines, split evenly between the two models. Production is scheduled to continue at this pace through 2013 for a total of 700 engines delivered to 28 customers. In all, more than 1,300 GEnx engines are on order to 48 customers around the world.
Customer training courses on the GEnx engines are in full swing. Computer-based and hands-on line maintenance classes on the GEnx engine began last year. The GEnx engine is the first GE engine to be 100 percent digitally defined, and the customer training will benefit from this feature with computer-based DVD and online training courses on basic line maintenance. Hands-on line maintenance, engine change and borescope inspection training are offered through a GE instructor.
The GEnx-1B and -2B engines continue flight-testing on the Boeing 787 and 747-8 respectively. The engine has accumulated more than 12,000 cycles and 9,000 hours since it began testing in 2006.
Based on proven GE90 architecture, the GEnx engine will succeed GE's CF6 engine. Compared to the CF6 engine, the GEnx will offer 15 percent improved fuel efficiency, which translates to 15 percent less CO2. The GEnx's innovative twin-annular pre-swirl (TAPS) combustor will dramatically reduce NOx gases as much as 60 percent below today's regulatory limits and other regulated gases as much as 90 percent. Based on the ratio of decibels to pounds of thrust, the GEnx will be the quietest engine GE has produced due to the large, more efficient fan blades that operate at slower tip speed, resulting in about 30 percent lower noise levels. The GEnx will be the world's only jet engine with both a front fan case and fan blades made of carbon fiber composites.
IHI Corporation of Japan, Avio SpA. of Italy, Volvo Aero of Sweden, MTU of Germany, TechSpace Aero of Belgium, Snecma (SAFRAN Group) of France and Samsung Techwin of Korea are revenue-sharing participants in the GEnx program.
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.
GE Aviation, an operating unit of GE (NYSE: GE), is a world-leading provider of jet and turboprop engines, components and integrated systems for commercial, military, business and general aviation aircraft. GE Aviation has a global service network to support these offerings.