NBAA Convention News

GE Business Aircraft Engines Making Developmental Progress

 - October 3, 2012, 8:30 AM

GE Aviation is currently gathering hardware for the assembly of the first Passport engine for the Bombardier Global 7000 and 8000 program. Assembly of the first full engine will begin by year end, according to Brad Mottier, vice president and general manager of GE Aviation’s Business and General Aviation organization.

“As of April 27, GE has frozen the design of the Passport engine,” he said. “Since then we’ve performed two fan blisk validation tests, Fadec testing and ice ingestion testing. The first engine ground tests are expected to be complete in 2013, and the engine is expected to be in flight testing in 2014. We remain confident in the engine’s performance and look forward to testing the first Passport engine next year.”

The Passport engine, a clean sheet design for the Global 7000 and 8000, will produce 16,500 pounds of thrust in its initial incarnation, and will incorporate advanced technologies and materials to provide 8 percent lower specific fuel consumption in comparison to other engines in its class. The engine can best CAEP/8 emissions and Stage 4 noise regulations, according to Mottier. The eCore suite, 52-inch front fan blisk and composite fan, combined with the engine’s integrated propulsion system from Nexcelle–a joint venture between GE and Safran–make it unique. The Passport is expected to be enveloped in a slim-line nacelle with outward opening lower cowl to reduce weight and drag.

GE’s H80 turboprop engine is now flying on thet Thrush 510G ag aircraft, four of which were recently delivered to customers. The company built 40 H80s in 2012 and expects to double that output in 2013. Mottier expects to see more King Air C90 conversions to the H80 and the upcoming sister engine, the 850 shp H85.

GE Aviation (Booth No. 3900) has expanded its long-term maintenance service agreement program, known as OnPoint, to include H80 customers. OnPoint maintenance agreements are fully transferable (and no transfer fees are charged). The program includes overhaul, on-wing support, new and used serviceable parts, component repair, technology upgrades, engine leasing and diagnostics.

Last summer GE Aviation acquired Austin Digital in an effort to enhance the company’s engine monitoring, diagnostics, prognostics and data gathering capabilities. “We would like to improve the efficiency of not just our engines, but also the operators and the aircraft they fly in,” said Mottier.

For engine customers, GE Aviation introduced the Beacon app for the iPad and iPhone. Beacon promises a return call from the appropriate customer service or technical representative in the region for AOG problems within 30 minutes of the request being made via the app.