ORLANDO, Florida - GE Aircraft Engines is aggressively supporting Lockheed Martin Corporation in the proposed C-5M Modernization Program, under study by the U.S. Government, as the best method for dramatically improving U.S. Air Force airlift capability.

In 1997, Lockheed Martin selected GE's CF6-80C2 engine, the best-selling modern turbofan for commercial widebody aircraft, for the re-engining component of the C-5M program based on the engine's industry-leading performance and reliability.

The C-5 Galaxy, powered by four new CF6-80C2 engines, would experience more than a 25 percent reduction in operating costs through dramatically higher reliability and performance, including 30 percent less takeoff roll, 58 percent less time to climb, and a 38 percent higher initial cruise ceiling.

The CF6-80C2 engine will drive the highly favorable economics of the C-5M program because of its extensive development and operational history.

An excellent indicator of the engine's widespread popularity in the commercial aviation industry is this year's delivery of the 2,500th CF6-80C2 engine to Boeing for installation on a 747-400 delivery to EVA Airways of Taiwan.

Citing performance, safety, value, and reliability, CF6-80C2 customers have ordered more than 300 engines in 1997-98 alone for Boeing 767, 747 and MD-11 aircraft.

In 1998, the CF6-80C2 was launched into military service with the delivery of two Boeing 767 AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) aircraft to the Japan Defense Agency (JDA). The JDA launched the 767 AWACS program with four aircraft, representing the first tactical application for the CF6-80C2 engine.

In 27 years of service, the CF6 family of engines has achieved remarkable levels of reliability while accumulating almost 200 million flight hours in the fleets of more than 150 airline customers worldwide. Overall, CF6 engines have a dispatch reliability rate of 99.94 percent.

The -80C2 is the powerplant for Air Force One, a Boeing 747-200, which serves as the official aircraft of the president of the United States. Designated the F103-GE-102 for U.S. Air Force service, the engines power two aircraft that have logged more than 20,000 engine flight hours.