A key step in the GE9X technology maturation program took place when testing commenced on the first GE9X engine demonstration core in the first week of December. The GE9X will power Boeing’s 777X widebody twin-aisle jetliner. Following the completion of this phase of testing the demonstrator core will undergo aero optimisation and combustor operability testing. GE Aviation announced that the during initial testing at its altitude facility in Evendale, Ohio, maximum or redline speeds over the entire GE9X flight envelope were achieved by the demonstration core which successfully operated at and exceeded the engine’s compressor pressure ratio of 27:1. The GE9X features the highest pressure ratio of any commercial engine in aviation service.
“This test is a key step in the GE9X technology maturation program, which has yielded extremely positive results and sets us on the right path for engine certification testing,” said Bill Millhaem, general manager of the GE90/GE9X engine programs at GE Aviation. “The core test allows us to see all the key hot section modules—the HPC, combustor and HPT—working together as a complete system at least four years before the engine enters service.”
This year alone will see more than a billion dollars being spent by GE and its partners for technology maturation and product development of the 100,000-lb. thrust class GE9X engine. The first GE9X engine test is scheduled for next and flight testing on GE’s flying testbed is slated for 2017, followed by engine certification in 2018. GE has received orders for more than 700 GE9X engines.