GE Aviation has revised flight-testing plans for the Passport engine, chosen by Bombardier to power its ultra-long-range Global 7000 and 8000. The engine manufacturer initially planned to begin flight-testing the first development engine on its newly acquired 747-400 flying testbed (FTB) from facilities in Victorville, Calif., in July or August. Now the plan calls for the engine to fly on GE’s 747-100 FTB later this year or early next year.
“Successful engine testing at the altitude test facility earlier this year alleviated any pressing need for an early flying testbed,” a GE Aviation spokesman told AIN. The switch to the older legacy 747 FTB won’t delay the certification timeline of the Passport, which is still scheduled for next year, he said.
Because the engine won’t fly on the 747-400 testbed–it would have been the first test engine to fly on that airplane–GE needed to adapt the pylon on the older FTB to fit the Passport. Six Passports have already logged more than 675 hours on the ground, and this testing continues while the legacy FTB is prepared to fly the Passport.