Apr 8 2004
With the selection of GE to power The Boeing Company's new 7E7 Dreamliner aircraft, GE has launched the development of a new commercial jet engine.
"Boeing's selection of GE builds on the strong relationship between two leading aviation companies," said David Calhoun, president and CEO of GE Transportation. "Our new engine for the 7E7 is the culmination of technologies for which we've made considerable investments over several years. We greatly appreciate Boeing's confidence. This makes for a huge day in the history of our jet engine business."
GE's new engine, currently called the GENX (GE Next-Generation) engine, is designed to meet or exceed Boeing's aggressive performance targets for its new twin-engine 7E7 aircraft. With entry into service anticipated in 2008, the 7E7 will carry 200 to 250 passengers up to 8,300 nautical miles, and is expected to use 20 percent less fuel than today's aircraft of comparable size.
Boeing anticipates a need for between 2,000 and 3,000 aircraft in the 7E7 market segment over the next 20 years.
The GENX engine will produce 55,000 to 70,000 pounds of thrust. The first full engine will go to test in 2006. The GENX is being designed and tested at GE Transportation's world headquarters in Evendale, Ohio. Final assembly of the engine will be in Durham, North Carolina.
The GENX engine benefits from GE's aggressive technology efforts, as the company has invested approximately $1 billion annually in research & development. Because GENX's architectural design is derived from the ultra-high-thrust GE90 engine, it has a proven track record on twin-engine aircraft. The GENX technologies include:
- Composite front fan blades derived from the GE90, the world's most powerful engine. Since 1995, GE has operated the only composite fan blades in aviation.
- A compressor derived from the GE90, the highest-pressure-ratio compressor in aviation. It is being designed for the aggressive fuel-efficiency and all-electric requirements of the 7E7.
- A unique single-annular combustor (where compressed air and fuel are mixed) derived from GE's technology demonstrator engine programs to achieve dramatically lower emissions.
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