Cenco (Safran) will build a 46-foot engine test cell in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, for Saudia Aerospace Engineering Industries (SAEI). The new facility will allow SAEI to test the GE90-94/115, CFM56-5B/7B, CF34-8E/10E, CF6-80C2D1F/B5F and V2500-D5 while providing for future engine programs such as the Rolls-Royce Trent 700/900/1000 and the GE Aviation GEnx-1B/2B. The facility is set to enter service in July 2016.
The FAA has awarded GE Aviation organization designation authorization (ODA), enabling the company to act on behalf of the FAA in managing certification projects and determining compliance in accordance with FAA procedures, guidelines and oversight.
Boeing has advised GEnx engine operators that it is revising the 787’s and the 747-8’s flight manuals to prohibit flight within 50 nm of thunderstorms that may contain ice crystals. Following Boeing’s recommendation, Japan Airlines immediately announced it would switch aircraft on two routes. From April to November, GEnx-powered aircraft suffered six engine-icing events, according to a GE statement. All aircraft landed at their planned destinations, said the engine maker, and none of the incidents involved in-flight shutdowns–only temporary thrust losses.
Ethiopian Airlines signed a 10-year “OnPoint” maintenance agreement with GE Aviation for its GE90 engines. Under the agreement, GE (Pavilion A9) will maintain GE90 engines on 16 Ethiopian Boeing 777s. OnPoint agreements are customized service agreements tailored to the operational and financial needs of airline customers, GE said. The agreements are designed to help lower customers’ cost of ownership and maximize their use of assets.
CFM International announced on the eve of the show that it had closed the sale of Leap-1A engines to Pegasus Airlines for its Airbus A320neo/A321neo orders. The Snecma-GE joint venture also gave an update on Leap-1A testing. Separately, the French state has announced a divestiture of at least 3.6 percent of shares in Safran (Snecma’s parent company).
GE Aviation is aiming to expand its Business and General Aviation business to $1 billion in revenues by 2020 from the current $300 million level. This is already significantly up from the $150 million it turned over in 2008. Brad Mottier, vice president and general manager of the unit, said $1 billion has been the goal he has headed for since 2008. The challenge, he believes, is to right-size products from the larger GE Aviation into engine technology for business aircraft “that the market can afford.”
GE Aviation (Booth No. N5500) is aiming to grow its Business and General Aviation (and Integrated Systems) business to $1 billion in revenues by 2020 from the $300 million level it is at in 2013. This is already significantly up from the $150 million it turned over in 2008.
Six General Electric H80-powered Thrush 510Gs now operate with China’s Beidahuang General Aviation Co., following delivery of the airplanes on September 6. A subsidiary of state-owned Beidahuang Group, in 2012 the company placed the largest single order for Thrush aircraft ever when it committed to 20 Thrush 510Gs. The Thrush 510G agricultural aircraft became the first aircraft to enter service powered by H80 engines in late 2012.
Development is progressing on schedule for GE’s Passport 20 engine, which is scheduled for certification in 2015 and is expected to enter service in 2016 on Bombardier’s Global 7000 and 8000 ultra-long-range twinjets.
While GE has earned renown for its military and commercial engines, until recently its experience in the business aviation arena had been limited to the CF34, which has powered Bombardier’s large-cabin Challengers for the past 30 years (as well as the airframer’s CRJs and Embraer’s ERJ regional jets).
Today at NBAA 2013, aircraft remanufacturer Nextant Aerospace revealed its next project–a King Air C90 outfitted with GE H80 turboprop engines, Garmin G1000 glass cockpit, zero-timed components, winglets, strakes and new paint and interior. Initial deliveries of the G90XT, a $2 million to $3 million like-new turboprop twin with single-lever power controls, will start later next year.