FAA certifies the GE9X, the world’s largest turbofan

New engine will be used by the Boeing 777X and was one of the causes of the delay in the program of the new wide body aircraft
The GE9X turbofan: 737 diameter (Boeing employees via Twitter)

The FAA announced on Monday the certification of the GE9X turbofan for commercial use. Manufactured by GE Aviation, the engine is the largest of its kind and equips the new Boeing 777X.

In a statement, GE says it used eight thrusters in the GE9X certification campaign, accumulating almost 5,000 hours of operation and 8,000 cycles. In addition to flights with the 777X prototypes, the manufacturer used a modified Boeing 747 to perform tests.

“It takes the world’s best talent in jet propulsion to create a game-changing product like the GE9X engine,” said John Slattery, president and CEO of GE Aviation.

According to GE, the GE9X is capable of offering 10% less fuel consumption than the GE90 turbofan and 5% less emissions than the most modern engines in its class. It has a fan with a diameter of 3.4 meters, similar to a Boeing 737 and has a compression ratio of 27: 1, the highest ever used in passenger aircraft.

GE9X test bed

Despite this, engine development encountered issues that caused the 777X’s schedule to be delayed. With the advent of the pandemic, Boeing delayed the entry into service of the largest twin-engine passenger in history until 2022.

GE has revealed that it is carrying out an additional 3,000 cycle soil testing program to obtain ETOPS (Extended Operations) approval. The manufacturer says it has received orders and purchase options for more than 600 GE9X engines that will be used in the Boeing 777X in the future.

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