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GE Aviation completes initial ground testing of first full GE9X development engine

Posted 20 October 2016 · Add Comment

GE Aviation has completed the initial ground testing of the first full GE9X development engine, the world's largest commercial aircraft engine that will power Boeing's 777X aircraft.

"This engine is living up to our expectations, and we are extremely pleased with the results," said Ted Ingling, general manager of the GE9X programme at GE Aviation. "During ground testing at GE Aviation's Peebles Testing Operation, the first GE9X engine performed flawlessly, providing the Engineering team with 1,200 individual data streams that reaffirmed the design. We look forward to the next phase of testing for the engine programme." 

The first GE9X engine accumulated 167 hours, 213 cycles and 89 starts during ground testing. The recent testing provided data on the engine's aero and thermal characteristics, mechanical integrity, performance and operability. Later this year, GE Aviation will conduct preliminary ice testing on the first engine to test (FETT) to get a sneak peek at how the engine will perform.

The FETT is a culmination of maturation testing on the GE9X technologies, which started five years ago. The GE9X FETT testing, which began in late March, occurred much earlier in the engine development process and a mere six months after the engine design was finalized. This timing enables all FETT learnings to be captured in the certification engines.

A second round of testing is underway on a GEnx demonstrator engine with GE9X CMC (ceramic matrix composite) components in the combustor and turbine. With one-third the density of metal alloys and greater thermal capabilities, lightweight CMC components reduce an engine's overall weight for improved fuel efficiency, engine performance and durability.

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