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Full GE9X Engine Completes First Round of Ground Testing
2018-09-21   Source:AINonline   Author:Gregory Polek   Views:1407   

The first full GE9X turbofan rests on its test stand in Peebles, Ohio. (Photo: GE Aviation)

GE Aviation has completed the initial ground testing of the first full GE9X development engine, the company announced Wednesday. The world’s largest commercial aircraft engine with a front fan diameter of 134 inches, the 100,000-pound-thrust-class turbofan will power the Boeing 777X, scheduled to enter service in 2020.

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. GE Aviation plans to conduct preliminary ice testing on the first engine to test (FETT) later this year.

“This engine is living up to our expectations, and we are extremely pleased with the results,” saidGE9X program general manager Ted Ingling, “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.”

The FETT represents the culmination of maturation testing on GE9X technologies that started five years ago.

The GE9X FETT testing, which began in late March, occurred much earlier in the engine development process than usual and just six months after GE finalized the engine design. According to GE, the timing allows the certification engines to encompass all FETT“learnings.”  

A second round of testing has begun on a GEnx demonstrator engine with GE9X CMC (ceramic matrix composite) components in the combustor and turbine. 

Plans call for certification testing on the GE9X program to begin in the first half of next year along with flight testing on GE Aviation’s flying test bed. The company expects the engine to gain certification in 2018. 

Apart from its size, key features of the GE9X include a composite fan case and 16 carbon fiber composite fan blades; a 27:1 pressure-ratio, 11-stage high-pressure compressor; a third-generation TAPS III combustor for high efficiency and low emissions; and CMC material in the combustor and turbine.

IHI Corporation, Safran Aircraft Engines, Safran Aero Boosters and MTU Aero Engines all participate in the GE9X engine program.



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