F is for FlightPulse —
Not only are technologies such as additive manufacturing and composite materials being used to make lighter weight and more fuel-efficient jet engines, data can also reduce fuel consumption on aircraft. Collaborating with pilots, GE Aviation developed FlightPulse, an application allowing pilots to measure fuel use during every stage of a flight. Pilots can use their findings to make fuel-saving changes on their next trip.
E is for Electron Beam —
Using a 3D printer, layers of titanium aluminide powder are welded together with a 3-kilowatt electron beam to make turbine blades for the GE9X engine. Electron Beam melting can be used to make parts with complicated shapes that weigh less than parts made with traditional manufacturing methods such as casting.
D is for Data Visualization —
GE Aviation’s Digital Solutions help customers understand data and analytics to solve business challenges. For example, the GE Data Visualization project allows airlines to gain valuable insight from large volumes of flight and operations data to help prevent disruptions and identify revenue-growing opportunities.
C is for Ceramic Matrix Composites —
Jet engines powering flight are now made with new materials such as Ceramic Matrix Composites (CMCs), which is replacing some metals in hot sections of more GE Aviation engines. Composites consist of separate materials that, when joined together, have new properties. In the case of CMCs produced by GE, the materials are stronger and can withstand higher temperatures compared to some metal alloys, leading to lighter, more fuel efficient, yet more powerful engine products. Watch and see how these super materials are created.
B is for Bypass Ratio —
Bypass Ratio measures airflow through a turbofan jet engine, comparing how much air goes around the engine core than through the engine core. Engines with high bypass ratios generate more thrust for less fuel. The GEnx engine gained 15 percent fuel efficiency over the CF6 engine, thanks in part to new lightweight material technologies and a bypass ratio as high as 8.3 for certain models.
A is for Adaptive Cycle —
Whether the military pilot’s mission is fuel efficiency or high thrust, GE Aviation’s Adaptive Cycle Engine allows them to automatically switch between engine modes in the air and on the move. Traditional engines have fixed air flow. The Adaptive Cycle Engine is the only combat engine with variable cycles, able to withstand longer flight times and the hottest temperatures for engine parts in the history of jet engine propulsion.
GE Aviation is celebrating its 100th year in business. We will be celebrating from A to Z all year with the ABCs of Aviation, highlighting the technology and engineering milestones that have made the last 100 years remarkable.
Each month we are revealing two new letters that feature aviation-themed words we’ve all come to know and love. Have a word you think is more significant? Tell us why!