Boeing on Monday ran the first General Electric GEnx engines expected to power the fifth 787 Dreamliner prototype, which is scheduled to be the first to fly with the big turbofans. Rolls-Royce Trent 1000s power the first four 787 prototypes, all of which are now involved in the flight-test program.
Chosen in a three-engine selection run-off that ultimately excluded an offer from Pratt & Whitney, the GEnx-1B won FAA certification in March 2008. Scheduled to fly on ZA005 “later this quarter,” the engines offer 15-percent improved fuel efficiency and 30 percent more time “on wing” over those they replace in GE’s product line, the CF-6, according to the company.
“This is another exciting step in our progress on the 787 test program,” said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of the 787 program for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “Our partners at GE have worked diligently to ensure their engines are ready for the testing that is going to occur both before first flight of ZA005 and throughout the flight-test program.”
Boeing also plans to fly the sixth prototype, ZA006, with GEnx engines this summer.