GE announced the assembly of their first GE9X engine that will start testing 1H16 is underway. This comes four years before the engine flies on the 777X. The GE9X engine is in the 100,000 lb thrust class.
“Assembly of the first full GE9X engine is on track and coming together very nicely,” GE Aviation general manager-GE90/GE9X engine program Bill Millhaem said. “The first engine to test (FETT) wraps up the extensive technology maturation program for the GE9X engine program, which began almost five years ago and has included component-level, system-level and core demo testing to validate the advanced technologies and materials in the new engine,” GE said in a statement. “FETT brings all the technologies together to demonstrate their operability as a complete propulsion system as well as provide early information on the engine’s aerodynamic and thermal characteristics.”
Compared to previous engine development programs, the GE9X first engine test is scheduled earlier in the development process, only six months after the engine design was finalized. The second GE9X engine is scheduled for tests beginning in 2017, followed by flight testing on the company’s 747 flying test bed. Engine certification is anticipated in 2018. This timing assures all learnings from FETT will be captured in all certification engines. Engine certification is anticipated in 2018,” GE said in a statement. GE said it has nearly 700 GE9X engines on order.