The GE9XTM engine took its first test flight this week under the wing of GE Aviation’s 747 flying testbed in Victorville, California.
The engine that will power Boeing’s new 777X aircraft flew for more than four hours. During the flight, the aircraft and engine completed the entire test card and validated key operational and functional characteristics enabling the test campaign to progress.
There are almost 700 GE9X engines on order. The engine will be in the 100,000 pound thrust class, have the largest front fan (at 134 inches in diameter with a composite fan case) and 16 fourth generation, carbon fibre composite fan blades. Other key features include: a 27:1 pressure-ratio, 11-stage, high-pressure compressor; a third-generation TAPS [Twin Annular Premixing Swirler] III combustor for high efficiency and low emissions; and ceramic matrix composite material in the combustor and turbine.
Ted Ingling, GM, GE9X Program, GE Aviation, said, “Today’s flight starts…the GE9X flight test campaign that will last for several months, allowing us to accumulate data on how the engine performs at altitude and during various phases of flight.”
Certification testing of the GE9X engine began in May 2017. Beyond flight testing, the engine recently completed icing tests at GE Aviation’s facility in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, and continues crosswind testing at the Peebles Test Operation in Ohio. Engine certification is expected in 2019.
IHI Corporation, Safran Aircraft Engines, Safran Aero Boosters and MTU Aero Engines AG are participating in the GE9X engine program.