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GE Aviation has completed the initial ground testing of the first full GE9X development engine, which will power Boeing’s 777X aircraft that is scheduled to begin production in 2017, with first delivery in 2020.
GE Aviation GM-GE9x program Ted Ingling said, “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 program.”
According to GE, 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 said it will conduct preliminary ice testing on the first engine to test (FETT) to see how the engine will perform.
The FETT is a culmination of maturation testing on the GE9X technologies, which started five years ago, GE said. The GE9X FETT testing, which began in late March, occurred much earlier in the engine development process and six months after the engine design was finalized. This timing enables all FETT learnings to be captured in the certification engines, according to a GE statement.
“A second round of testing is underway on a GEnx demonstrator engine with GE9X CMC (ceramic matrix composite) components in the combustor and turbine,” GE said. “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.”
GE said certification testing on the GE9X program will begin in the first half of next year along with flight testing on GE Aviation’s flying test bed. Engine certification is expected in 2018.