GE Aviation, best known for its civil and military jet engines and integrated aircraft systems, plans to establish itself as a Tier 1 aerostructures supplier by the second half of the next decade. Ultimately, the company has a long-term vision to develop integrated propulsion systems (IPS) for future single-aisle airliners and regional aircraft, bringing together GE Aviation’s aerostructures capabilities in advanced wing and flying-control surface design with its turboprop engine and propeller activities in other divisions.
CFM International claims it is behind a revolution in the use of advanced materials for its Leap series of engines for single-aisle aircraft, that gives it a durability and maintainability edge over the competing Pratt & Whitney PurePower geared turbofan.
The FAA issued an emergency airworthiness directive–2013-10-52–for GE90-110B1 and GE90-115B engines on May 16 after two reports of transfer gearbox assembly (TGB) failures prompted in-flight engine shutdowns. Investigations revealed the cause as TGB radial gear cracking and separation. The AD prohibits the operation of any aircraft with either engine installed five days after receipt of the directive.
GE Aviation won the Game-Changing Technology Implementation award last week at the 2013 Manufacturing Leadership Summit for its Integrated Vehicle Health Management (IVHM) technology. Designed to reduce delays, cancellations and unscheduled maintenance as initially implemented on the G650 business jet, IVHM continuously manages and analyzes data throughout the flight, creating a set of health information for the engines, avionics, power, cabin and other aircraft systems.
GE Honda Aero Engines has announced that its 2,095-pound-thrust HF120 turbofan intended initially for the HondaJet is nearing completion of certification tests and is on track for delivery of the first entry into service engines before the end of 2013. “We now have a line-of-sight for certification and we are gaining experience on the fleet,” said Terry Sharp, GE Honda Aero president. “We are gearing up for the production environment, which should come by the end of the year.”
GE Aviation is no stranger to the business aviation world. Its CF34 engines have powered Challengers for 30 years, while its larger engines are used by Airbus Corporate Jets and Boeing Business Jets (through its CFM joint venture with France’s Snecma). It is currently bringing the HF120 turbofan (in the GE Honda Aero joint venture with Honda Aircraft) and Passport 20 (for Bombardier’s Global 7000/8000) to the marketplace.
GE Aviation began running its third and final eCore demonstrator last month in preparation for application on the Passport business jet engine and the new CFM Leap family, as well as a potential basis for the still orphaned NG34 turbofan development.
Boeing has started discussions with airline and leasing customers about technical, pricing and schedule aspects of the proposed 777X widebody, the company confirmed last week. It said it will decide whether or not to formally launch the program based on the market’s response.
GE Aviation has named Ruag Aviation an authorized service center for its CF34-3 engines, which power the Bombardier Challenger series. Under the terms of the agreement, Ruag Aviation can perform engine line maintenance as well as provide OnPoint and warranty support and facilitate access to both GE parts and technical support. The MRO offers aircraft maintenance, individual cabin designs up to a complete refurbishment of aircraft interiors, in-flight entertainment systems and satcom installations, as well as complete system upgrades.
GE Aviation has started assembling the first Passport development engine for the Bombardier Global 7000 and Global 8000, the company announced yesterday. Testing of the 16,500-pound-thrust turbofan is scheduled to begin in the second quarter.