General Electric GE90
Overview
 
General Electric GE90 is a family of high-bypass turbofan
Turbofan
The turbofan is a type of airbreathing jet engine that is widely used for aircraft propulsion. A turbofan combines two types of engines, the turbo portion which is a conventional gas turbine engine, and the fan, a propeller-like ducted fan...

 aircraft engine
Aircraft engine
An aircraft engine is the component of the propulsion system for an aircraft that generates mechanical power. Aircraft engines are almost always either lightweight piston engines or gas turbines...

s built by GE Aviation for the Boeing 777
Boeing 777
The Boeing 777 is a long-range, wide-body twin-engine jet airliner manufactured by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It is the world's largest twinjet and is commonly referred to as the "Triple Seven". The aircraft has seating for over 300 passengers and has a range from , depending on model...

, with thrust ratings ranging from 74,000 to 115,000 lbf
Pound-force
The pound force is a unit of force in some systems of measurement including English engineering units and British gravitational units.- Definitions :...

 (329 to 512 kN). It was first introduced in November 1995 on British Airways
British Airways
British Airways is the flag carrier airline of the United Kingdom, based in Waterside, near its main hub at London Heathrow Airport. British Airways is the largest airline in the UK based on fleet size, international flights and international destinations...

' 777s, and is available only on the 777. The engine is one of three options for the 777-200, -200ER, and -300, and the exclusive engine of the -200LR, -300ER, and -200F.
The GE90 was launched in 1990 by GE Aviation associated with Snecma
Snecma
Snecma is a major French manufacturer of engines for commercial and military aircraft, and for space vehicles. The name is an acronym for Société Nationale d'Étude et de Construction de Moteurs d'Aviation .In 2005, the Snecma group, which included Snecma ,...

 (France), IHI (Japan) and Avio
Avio S.p.A.
Avio S.p.A. is an Italian company operating in the aerospace sector with its head office in Rivalta di Torino, Turin, Italy. Founded in 1908, it is present in Italy and abroad with different commercial offices and 10 production sites...

 (Italy).
Encyclopedia
General Electric GE90 is a family of high-bypass turbofan
Turbofan
The turbofan is a type of airbreathing jet engine that is widely used for aircraft propulsion. A turbofan combines two types of engines, the turbo portion which is a conventional gas turbine engine, and the fan, a propeller-like ducted fan...

 aircraft engine
Aircraft engine
An aircraft engine is the component of the propulsion system for an aircraft that generates mechanical power. Aircraft engines are almost always either lightweight piston engines or gas turbines...

s built by GE Aviation for the Boeing 777
Boeing 777
The Boeing 777 is a long-range, wide-body twin-engine jet airliner manufactured by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It is the world's largest twinjet and is commonly referred to as the "Triple Seven". The aircraft has seating for over 300 passengers and has a range from , depending on model...

, with thrust ratings ranging from 74,000 to 115,000 lbf
Pound-force
The pound force is a unit of force in some systems of measurement including English engineering units and British gravitational units.- Definitions :...

 (329 to 512 kN). It was first introduced in November 1995 on British Airways
British Airways
British Airways is the flag carrier airline of the United Kingdom, based in Waterside, near its main hub at London Heathrow Airport. British Airways is the largest airline in the UK based on fleet size, international flights and international destinations...

' 777s, and is available only on the 777. The engine is one of three options for the 777-200, -200ER, and -300, and the exclusive engine of the -200LR, -300ER, and -200F.

Design and development

The GE90 was launched in 1990 by GE Aviation associated with Snecma
Snecma
Snecma is a major French manufacturer of engines for commercial and military aircraft, and for space vehicles. The name is an acronym for Société Nationale d'Étude et de Construction de Moteurs d'Aviation .In 2005, the Snecma group, which included Snecma ,...

 (France), IHI (Japan) and Avio
Avio S.p.A.
Avio S.p.A. is an Italian company operating in the aerospace sector with its head office in Rivalta di Torino, Turin, Italy. Founded in 1908, it is present in Italy and abroad with different commercial offices and 10 production sites...

 (Italy). Developed from the 1970s NASA
NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

 Energy Efficient Engine
Energy Efficient Engine
The Energy Efficient Engine was a program funded by NASA in the 70's to develop technologies suitable for energy efficient turbofans. Both General Electric and Pratt & Whitney produced turbofans for the program. The GE core featured a 23:1 HP pressure ratio 10 stage HP compressor, later used in the...

, the 10-stage high pressure compressor develops a pressure ratio of 23:1 (an industry record) and is driven by a 2-stage, air-cooled, HP turbine. A 3-stage intermediate pressure compressor, situated directly behind the fan, supercharges the core. The fan/IPC is driven by a 6-stage low pressure turbine.

The higher thrust variants, GE90-110B1 and -115B, have a different architecture from the earlier marks of GE90, with one stage removed from the HP compressor (probably from the rear, to increase core size
Core size
Core size is a parameter used in aeroengine performance engineering to enable a size comparison between jet engine cores.The alternative core power parameter is more difficult to compute, but has the advantage that it takes into account not only the basic flow size of the device, but also the...

), with an extra stage added to the IP compressor to maintain/increase overall pressure ratio to achieve a net increase in core flow. General Electric did a similar re-staging exercise when they upgraded the CF6 from the -6 to the higher thrust -50. However, this thrust growth route is expensive, since all the downstream components (e.g. turbines) have to be larger (in flow capacity). So it is hardly surprising that GE sought (and received) sole engine supplier status with the -115B on the Boeing 777-300ER. The fan is an advanced, larger diameter unit made from composite material
Composite material
Composite materials, often shortened to composites or called composition materials, are engineered or naturally occurring materials made from two or more constituent materials with significantly different physical or chemical properties which remain separate and distinct at the macroscopic or...

s and is the first production engine to feature swept rotor blades. Although the larger fan in itself would produce a higher static thrust, an increase in core size and, thereby core power
Core power
Core power is a parameter used in aeroengine performance engineering to enable a comparison of the power capabilities of jet engine cores....

, was required to improve the net thrust at normal flight speeds.

At least one technical paper presented on behalf of one of GE's project partners indicates that further thrust improvement programs will be promoted should a market for higher thrusts arise. For comparison purposes, the Boeing 747-400
Boeing 747-400
The Boeing 747-400 is a major development and the best-selling model of the Boeing 747 family of jet airliners. While retaining the four-engine wide-body layout of its predecessors, the 747-400 embodies numerous technological and structural changes to produce a more efficient airframe...

's largest engines produce 63,300 lbf (289 kN) of thrust.

In October 2003, a Boeing 777-300ER broke the ETOPS record by being able to fly five and a half hours (330 minutes) with one engine shut down. The aircraft, with GE90-115B engines, flew from Seattle to Taiwan as part of the ETOPS certification programme.

The GE90 series are physically the largest engines in aviation history, the fan diameter of the original series being 312 cm (122.8 in). The largest variant, the GE90-115B, has a fan diameter of 325 cm (128 in). As a result, GE90 engines can only be airfreighted in assembled form by outsize cargo aircraft such as the Antonov An-124 Condor
Antonov An-124
The Antonov An-124 Ruslan is a strategic airlift jet aircraft. It was designed by the Ukrainian SSR's Antonov design bureau, then part of the Soviet Union. It is the world's largest ever serially-manufactured cargo airplane and world's second largest operating cargo aircraft...

, presenting unique problems if due to emergency diversions, a 777 was stranded in a place without the proper spare parts. If the fan is removed from the core, then the engines may be shipped on a 747 Freighter
Boeing 747
The Boeing 747 is a wide-body commercial airliner and cargo transport, often referred to by its original nickname, Jumbo Jet, or Queen of the Skies. It is among the world's most recognizable aircraft, and was the first wide-body ever produced...

. Apart from its size, the GE90-115B is powerful enough to fully operate GE's Boeing 747
Boeing 747
The Boeing 747 is a wide-body commercial airliner and cargo transport, often referred to by its original nickname, Jumbo Jet, or Queen of the Skies. It is among the world's most recognizable aircraft, and was the first wide-body ever produced...

 testbed on its own power during a maximum thrust low speed flight testing on board the aircraft

Derivatives

The GEnx
General Electric GEnx
The General Electric GEnx is an advanced dual rotor, axial flow, high-bypass turbofan jet engine in production by GE Aviation for the Boeing 787 and 747-8...

 engine, that has been developed for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and 747-8
Boeing 747-8
The Boeing 747-8 is a wide-body jet airliner developed by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Officially announced in 2005, the 747-8 is the fourth-generation Boeing 747 version, with lengthened fuselage, redesigned wings and improved efficiency...

, is derived from the smaller (i.e. earlier) core variant of the GE90, but features a fan with swept rotor blades. GE Aviation has also set up a cooperative venture with Pratt & Whitney
Pratt & Whitney
Pratt & Whitney is a U.S.-based aerospace manufacturer with global service operations. It is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation . Pratt & Whitney's aircraft engines are widely used in both civil aviation and military aviation. Its headquarters are in East Hartford, Connecticut, USA...

, named Engine Alliance
Engine Alliance
The Engine Alliance is a 50/50 joint venture between General Electric and Pratt & Whitney formed in August 1996 to develop, manufacture, sell, and support a family of modern technology aircraft engines for new high-capacity, long-range aircraft.The main application for such an engine, the GP7200,...

, underwhich the companies have developed an engine for the Airbus A380
Airbus A380
The Airbus A380 is a double-deck, wide-body, four-engine jet airliner manufactured by the European corporation Airbus, a subsidiary of EADS. It is the largest passenger airliner in the world. Due to its size, many airports had to modify and improve facilities to accommodate it...

, called the GP7000, from the larger GE90-110B/115B core.

GE has also announced studies on a slightly smaller derivative engine, dubbed the GE9X, to power the new Boeing 777-8x/9x aircraft. It will feature a fan diameter decrease from the 135 in (343 cm) of the GE90-115B to 128 in (325 cm) and an overall thrust decrease of 15,800 lbf to a new rating of 99,500 lbf per engine.

Operational history

The first General Electric-powered Boeing 777 was delivered to British Airways
British Airways
British Airways is the flag carrier airline of the United Kingdom, based in Waterside, near its main hub at London Heathrow Airport. British Airways is the largest airline in the UK based on fleet size, international flights and international destinations...

 on November 12, 1995; the aircraft, with two GE90-77Bs, entered service five days later. Initial service was affected by gearbox bearing wear issues, which caused the airline to temporarily withdraw its 777 fleet from transatlantic
Transatlantic flight
Transatlantic flight is the flight of an aircraft across the Atlantic Ocean. A transatlantic flight may proceed east-to-west, originating in Europe or Africa and terminating in North America or South America, or it may go in the reverse direction, west-to-east...

 service in 1997. British Airways' aircraft returned to full service later that year, and General Electric subsequently announced engine upgrades.

Records

According to the Guinness Book of Records
Guinness World Records
Guinness World Records, known until 2000 as The Guinness Book of Records , is a reference book published annually, containing a collection of world records, both human achievements and the extremes of the natural world...

, at 127,900 lbf (569 kN), it holds the record for the highest thrust (though it is rated at 115,300 lbf (513 kN)). This thrust record was accomplished inadvertently as part of a one-hour, triple-red-line engine stress test. In order to accommodate the increase in torsional stresses an entirely new steel alloy (GE1014) had to be created and then machined to extreme tolerances. The new record was set during testing of a GE90-115B development engine at GE Aviations' Peebles Test Operation, which is an outdoor test complex outside Peebles, Ohio. It eclipsed the engine's previous Guinness world record of 122,965 pounds of thrust.

On November 10, 2005, the GE90 entered the Guinness World Records for a second time. It powered a 777-200LR during the world's longest flight by a commercial airliner, though there were no fare-paying passengers on the flight, only journalists and invited guests. The 777-200LR flew 13422 miles (21,600.6 km) in 22 hours 42 minutes, flying from Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

 to London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 "the long way": over the Pacific, over the continental U.S., then over the Atlantic to London. (The longest flight by a commercial airliner with passengers is 18.5 hours, flown by an Airbus A340
Airbus A340
The Airbus A340 is a long-range four-engine wide-body commercial passenger jet airliner. Developed by Airbus Industrie,A consortium of European aerospace companies, Airbus is now fully owned by EADS and since 2001 has been known as Airbus SAS. a consortium of European aerospace companies, which is...

-500 aircraft on a daily non-stop flight
Non-stop flight
A non-stop flight, especially in the aviation industry, refers to any flight by an aircraft which does not involve any intermediate stops. A "direct flight" is not the same as a "non-stop flight"...

 from Newark to Singapore on Singapore Airlines
Singapore Airlines
Singapore Airlines Limited is the flag carrier airline of Singapore. Singapore Airlines operates a hub at Changi Airport and has a strong presence in the Southeast Asia, East Asia, South Asia, and "Kangaroo Route" markets...

. See Singapore Airlines Flight 21
Singapore Airlines Flight 21
Singapore Airlines Flight 21 is the longest regular scheduled non-stop flight in the world. It flies from Newark Liberty International Airport to Singapore Changi Airport, covering about miles still air distance in about 18.5 hours flight time. It is operated by an Airbus A340-500...

)

Variants

GE90-76B : rated at 76,000 lbf (338.1 kN)
GE90-77B : rated at 77,000 lbf (342.5 kN)
GE90-85B : rated at 85,000 lbf (378.1 kN)
GE90-90B : rated at 90,000 lbf (400.3 kN)
GE90-92B : rated at 92,000 lbf (409.2 kN)
GE90-94B : rated at 93,700 lbf (416.8 kN)
GE90-110B1 : rated at 110,100 lbf (489.3 kN)
GE90-115B : rated at 115,300 lbf (514 kN)

Specifications (GE90-94B)


Specifications (GE90-115B)


See also

External links

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