“Assembly of the first full GE9X engine is on track and coming together very nicely,” said Bill Millhaem, general manager of the GE90/GE9X engine programs at GE Aviation. “The GE9X team is extremely excited to see the engine design come to life and looks forward to watching it run soon on a test stand in Peebles, Ohio.“
The first engine to test (FETT) wraps up the extensive technology maturation program for the GE9X engine program, which began almost five years ago and has included component-level, system-level and core demo testing to validate the advanced technologies and materials in the new engine. FETT brings all the technologies together to demonstrate their operability as a complete propulsion system as well as provide early information on the engine’s aerodynamic and thermal characteristics.
Compared to prior engine development programs, the GE9X FETT is scheduled earlier in the development process, just a mere six months after the engine design was finalized. The second GE9X engine is scheduled to test in 2017 along with flight testing on GE Aviation’s flying test bed. Engine certification is anticipated in 2018. This timing assures all learnings from FETT will be captured in all certification engines.
Avio Aero is building the entire low-pressure turbine (LPT) module and the fan hub frame for the GE9X. More than 500 employees from all Avio Aero plants are using their expertise and passion to complete the assembly.
“We’ve invested almost 2.7 million euros to develop a new area for the final assembly of the turbine module,” said Michele Barbato, component repair and overhaul and assembly operations leader in Pomigliano. “The area will be used for the layout of the first assembly line and for the complete supply of tools and utensils. The space will allow us to accommodate the increasing assembly volumes.”
The Avio Aero Pomigliano Plant represents the LPT nerve center with all turbine module components collected here and assembled at the site.
“All the fieldwork for the GE9X is proving to be perhaps the most concrete integration element, with the level of cooperation and teamwork between functions, factories and our Aviation colleagues,” said Roberto Marrone, GE9X manufacturing leader for Avio Aero. “The value and level of work that we offer today are an important benchmark for future GE programs, for the people in Pomigliano and, I believe, for everyone in Avio Aero. Succeeding in this challenge will be our greatest source of satisfaction.”
Hear what the Avio Aero team thinks about working on the exciting GE9X program.