GE’s Passport Engine Design Gets Stamp of Approval

 - May 15, 2012, 1:25 PM

GE Aviation has frozen the design of its 16,500-pound-thrust GE Passport 20 engine, which will power the Bombardier Global 7000 and 8000 business jets, the company announced at EBACE yesterday. Consequently, the GE engine has entered the detailed design phase. “Component fabrication will begin soon,” it said, “leading to the start of assembly of the first full engine by year-end.”

The company will then begin ground testing in the second quarter of next year. GE is anticipating certification of its new turbofan in 2015 and entry into service in 2016.

A key feature of the new turbofan is the 52-inch-diameter fan “blisk,” short for “bladed disk.” According to a GE Aviation spokesman, “We have been running validation testing on two fan blisks and the results have been very positive.” The manufacturer also plans to conduct blade-out, icing and aeromechanical trials on rigs at its Evendale, Ohio facility this year to verify design efforts.

At the engine core level, two eCore demonstrators have accumulated about 150 hours of testing. “We are incorporating lessons learned into the eCore Demo 3,” a GE spokesman told AIN. The eCore3 is scheduled to run next year.