GE Aviation finalized agreements with IHI Corporation, Safran Aircraft Engines and Safran Aero Boosters as participants in the GE9X engine program. GE9X engine program participants play a significant role, producing a combined total of about 25 percent share of the components for the GE9X engine that will power the Boeing 777X aircraft.
"GE Aviation has a long history with the GE9X engine program participants who have been participants or suppliers on our successful portfolio of commercial engines," said Bill Fitzgerald, vice president and general manager of GE Aviation's Commercial Engine Operation. "These participants contributed to the successful start of the GE9X first engine to test two days ahead of schedule and the combined technologies of GE and our participants have performed extremely well, and we look forward to working together to deliver the largest, most fuel efficient wide body engine to our customers."
IHI: With headquarters in Japan, IHI is responsible for the design and manufacturing of various components in the low-pressure turbine and the fan mid-shaft.
History: IHI is a participant on the CF34, GE90, GEnx and Passport engine programs and has been producing GE military engines under license for more than 60 years.
Safran Aircraft Engines: Based in France, Safran Aircraft Engines is responsible for the design and manufacturing of the 3D-woven composite forward fan case, the turbine rear frame and participate with GE on the composite fan blades through CFAN, its 50/50 joint venture company.
History: Safran Aircraft Engines produces the CFM56 and LEAP engine within CFM International, the 50/50 joint company with GE and is a participant on the CF6, GE90 and GP7200 engine programs.
Safran Aero Boosters: Headquartered in Belgium, Safran Aero Boosters is responsible for the design and manufacturing of the low pressure compressor as well as the manufacturing of the fan disk.
History: Safran Aero Boosters is a participant in the CF34, GEnx and Passport engine programs.
MTU Aero Engines AG is another GE9X engine program participant and is responsible for the design and manufacturing of the turbine center frame.
Testing on the first full GE9X development engine continues at GE Aviation and concludes a five-year maturation testing of GE9X technologies. Next year will be a busy year for the GE9X program with the start of certification testing and flight testing on GE Aviation's flying test bed. Engine certification is anticipated in 2018.
With almost 700 GE9X engines on order, the GE9X engine will be in the 100,000 pound thrust class and will have the largest front fan at 134 inches in diameter with a composite fan case and 16 fourth generation carbon fiber composite fan blades. Other key features include; a next-generation 27:1 pressure-ratio 11-stage high-pressure compressor; a third-generation TAPS III combustor for high efficiency and low emissions; and CMC material in the combustor and turbine.