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GE engines now an alternative to Rolls-Royce on the Boeing Dreamliner

18 June 2010

The first Boeing 787 Dreamliner flight powered by GE GEnx 1B engines took place on Thursday June 17. The test flight, lasting three hours and 48 minutes, took place over the state of Washington. The GEnx engine development programme has taken five years and this first GEnx-1B engine test flight follows the first flight in February of its sister engine, the GEnx-2B engine, which has logged more than 1,800 flight-hours on Boeing’s 747-8 freighter.

The GEnx is reported to be the fastest selling engine in GE Aviation’s history with about 1,300 engines on order, more than 800 of which are for the GEnx-1B engine to power the 787.

The GEnx series engine features both front fan case and fan blades made of carbon fibre composites, which reduces weight and improves efficiency. There are also significantly fewer parts and a more compact core.

Part of GE’s ecomagination line of more energy efficient products, the GEnx-1B engine will offer 15 percent improved fuel efficiency compared with GE’s CF6 engine which it will ultimately replace.

NOx gases are reduced by as much as 60 percent below regulatory limits and other gases by as much as 90 percent. The GEnx will be the quietest engine GE has produced, with the large, more efficient fan blades resulting in about 30 percent lower noise levels.

Earlier flights used the Rolls Royce Trent 1000 engine; customers will now be able to choose which engine they want on the 787s they order.

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