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Ge Gas Turbine Engine Technology Evolution Engineering Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Engineering
Wordcount: 5507 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Thomas Edison; the prolific American Inventor and businessman with 1093 US patents including the incandescent electric lamp, is a principal figure to the establishment of GE as a leading innovator in the field of engineering. Founded in 1890 by Thomas Edison as the Edison General Electric Company because of its many businesses, it merged in 1892 with Charles A. Coffin’s Thomson-Houston Company (a dominant electrical innovation company) and the new organization the General Electric Company [1].

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GE Aircraft Engines, the name given to the division that oversees all of GE’s jet engine production and gas turbine engine operations since 1987, actually began its story in 1917 when the United States (U.S.) government began its search for a company to develop the first airplane engine “booster” for the fledgling U.S. aviation industry [1]. By 1918, the development of the turbo-supercharger (exhaust driven booster) by GE Engineer Dr. Sanford .A. Moss launched GE’s place in aviation as the main suppliers of turbo-supercharger, producing 356hp when tested on the Liberty aircraft; this allowed pilots fly higher, faster and more efficiently than ever before and provided a strategic advantage for U.S. aircraft during World War I [2].

In 1942 based on its agreement with the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF), GE built the United States first jet engine based on Frank Whittle (W.1) design of the turbojet engine; powered by two (2) GE’s I-A 1250lb-thrust engines, the Bell XP-59 Airacomet became the first successful American jet aircraft which propelled the U.S. into the jet age. The I-A engine used a centrifugal-flow compressor, as did the more powerful successive engines developed by GE during the next two (2) years climaxing in the J33 engine, 4,000Ib- thrust. The J33 powered the USAAF’s first operational jet fighter, the P-80 Shooting Star, to a world’s speed record of 620 miles per hour in 1947. Later that year a GE J35 engine powered a Douglas D-558-1 Sky-streak to a record-breaking 650 miles per hour. The J35 was the first GE turbojet engine to incorporate an axial-flow compressor, the type of compressor used in all GE engines since then [3]. 

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I-A – U.S First Jet Engine [4]

After World War II, GE having lost the production of its military jet engines to other manufacturers due to concerns by the USAAF about disruption in the supplies of turbosuperchargers, returned back to the business of jet engines with its own design and produced the J47 (5000Ib-thrust), the J47 went on to become the most produced Jet engine in history due to much demand from the Korean war, more than 35,000 deliveries had been made by the end of the 1950s. At GE’s Evendale facility there was a- ten-fold increase in work-force (from 1,200 to 12,000 people in 20 months), requiring a tripling of manufacturing space.  The J47 also became the first turbojet certified for civil use by the U.S. Civil Aeronautics Administration- and the first to use an electronically controlled afterburner to boost its thrust [3].


By the early 50’s, GE’s began work on its most famous military engine J79. Its Variable stator vanes (mechanical devices used to achieve high compressor pressures and cope with the high internal variations in airflow from take-off to high supersonic speeds without stalling) marked an important development in the jet engine evolution; the engine’s efficiency was high that the engineers thought their instruments were malfunctioning. [4] The J79 powered the B-58 Hustler, the first U.S. bomber capable of maintaining speeds in excess of Mach 2, two (2) J79 engines power the F-4 Phantom fighter aircraft, one of the most versatile aircraft ever produced [5]. A derivative of the J79, CJ805 which was used on the Convair 880 airliner marked GE’s entry into the civil airline market [3].

GE began work on its “baby gas turbine,” T58 based on the contract with the U.S. Navy to produce a 400-Ib engine delivering 800-horsepower turboshaft engine; it was developed for helicopter use and was the first turbine engine to gain FAA certification for civil helicopter use (CT58 is the civilian version). The engine which powered a Sikorsky HSS-1F in the U.S.’s first turbine-powered helicopter flight in 1955, famous for recovering the Apollo astronauts and powering the Marine One – the helicopter of the U.S. president since the Kennedy administration, it became the precursor of Lynn’s small engine product line and the turboshaft engine have since evolved to power every medium- to large-sized helicopter in the Western world mainly through the T700/CT7 engine family [3].

The 1950s and 1960s saw further advances: the J93, the first turbojet engine to operate at three times the speed of sound (MACH 3) powered the U.S. Air Force (USAF) experimental XB-70 bomber; and the addition of a fan to the rear of the CJ805 created the first turbofan engine for commercial service on the Convair 990. In 1964, an attempt to power the USAF’s C-5 Galaxy cargo plane prompted GE to put a larger fan on the front of an engine; the TF39 became the first high-power, high-bypass jet engine available with innovative accomplishments such as an 8:1 bypass ratio, 25:1 compressor pressure ratio, a 2,500°F turbine temperature through advanced cooling techniques, and a GE-designed thrust reverser [5], the result of this combination was the world’s first high bypass turbofan engine to enter service, introducing the remarkable fuel efficiency of high-bypass technology [3]. A major milestone for GE was having the USAF’s low-cost air-combat fighter, the F-5 Freedom Fighter been built around the J85 engine, the F-5 soon became the standard defence aircraft for more than 30 nations. Other advances in the compressor, combustor and turbine knowledge in the 1960s resulted into a more compact core engine with a single-stage turbine having only two bearing areas versus three; in the GE F101 engine (30,000Ib-thrust) which powered the U.S. Air Force’s B-1 bomber [3]. GE’s T64 engine introduced in 1964 pioneered a number of technical innovations for use on helicopters that influenced generations of GE engines, such as corrosion resistant and high-temperature coatings, front-drive free turbines and film-air-cooled turbine nozzles and blades [5]. The T700/CT7 engine program initiated in 1967 for the U.S. Army was the result of lessons learned from helicopter operations in Vietnam. The most widely used in its class; it powers 21 types of rotary and fixed-wing aircraft for nearly 130 customers in 55 countries. This 2000-shp class engine family has been proven in battles and extreme environments. GE’s key requirements for the T700/CT7 include: survivability, maintainability, and low life cycle costs [5].

The TF34 introduced in 1971, as a 9000lb thrust turbofan engine, that delivers the highest thrust to weight ratio and the lowest specific fuel consumption in its class; this enables the A-10 aircraft to operate in short remote airfields, withstand exposure to ground fire and offers effective close-air support for ground forces. Hot-section advances have reduced the unscheduled removal rate and have doubled the engine’s on-wing capability to over 2,000 hours. The TF34 is the father of the CF34, the commercial version that drives business jets and regional jet airliners [5].

In the 1980’s, The U.S. defence build-up witnessed GE jet engines playing a vital role. In 1984, the highly reliable F110 engine (32,000-Ib-thrust) which is based on the F101’s core design with the addition of different fan and afterburner packages to match engine performance to the desired aircraft application, was selected by the USAF for the F-16C/D fighter aircraft; this initiated “The Great Engine War”- an intense, competition between GE and its U.S. rival Pratt & Whitney. The F110 powers the majority of USAF’s F-16C/Ds and F-16s worldwide, having been selected by Israel, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Chile and Oman. In addition, the F110 powers Japan’s single-engine F-2 fighter and the U.S. Navy’s F-14B/D Super Tomcat fighter. A derivative of the F110, the F118 a non-afterburning variant powers the U.S. Air Force B-2 bomber. [3]. Also within this decade, the F404 was designed as a replacement for the J79 with roughly the same thrust, but at approximately two third the size. Today the F404 has become the standard for modern fighter aircraft offering performance, simplicity and multi-mission capability with its range of thrust (11000-18000Lbs), more than 3700 F404 engines power the aircraft of several military services worldwide ranging from low-level attack to high-altitude interceptors; including the world’s first operational stealth fighter, the Lockheed Martin F-117A, and the F/A-18 Hornet aircraft of the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and several foreign nations[5].

GE’s years of successful military engine programs has seen it climaxed with two recent military conflicts in the Middle East. By 1991, GE produced more than half of all the aircraft of the U.S. and other Allied forces in Operation Desert Storm following the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq. Over 5,000 GE engines were deployed during Desert Storm, powering fighters, tankers, helicopters, transports, and surveillance aircraft, including F-14s, F-16s, F-5s, F-4s, C-5s, KC-135Rs, F-117A Stealth fighters, F-18s, A-10s, S-3s, and Black Hawk and Apache helicopters, both powered by GE’s T700 engine. Despite the sharply increased aircraft usage, sand and severe climate fluctuations, mission readiness rates for GE engines remained extremely high, with many units reporting over 99% dispatch reliability rates. Also between the years of 2003 and 2004, GE engines powered more than 80% of the Operation Iraqi Freedom coalition aircraft for its invasion on Iraq. GE’s engines have powered tens of thousands of successful attacks flown by some 450 fighters and close-air support aircraft, 15 bombers, more than 230 tankers and transports, and more than 550 helicopters during this conflict. The engines dispatch reliability, technological superiority and high quality has been essential to the overall success of the Operation [3]. 

The F414-GE-400 turbofan produced in 1998 builds upon the excellent reliability, operability and readiness of the F404 engine. The combat-proven F414 has delivered excellent reliability and 22,000 pounds of thrust, 35% more thrust than the original F404. It has significantly improved the Boeing F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet’s range, payload and survivability. Advanced technology features such as a Full Authority Digital Electronic Control (FADEC) improve operational characteristics of the engine while the latest materials and cooling techniques allow for higher temperatures and pressures without sacrificing component life [5].

In terms of its collaboration with Rolls-Royce, GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Team was to develop the F136 engine for the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program. The F136 engine was planned to be the most advanced fighter aircraft engine ever developed, to power all variants of the F-35 Lightning II aircraft for the U.S. military and eight partner nations [3]. However in April 2011, after some much progress on the part of the fighter team, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) terminated the program. In a formal statement by the two companies in December 2011, General Electric and Rolls-Royce reached the decision to discontinue self-funded development of the F136 engine [6].

GE3000 represents a new era in medium lift propulsion, a result of its Advanced Affordable Turbine Engine program (AATE) launched in 2007. AATE calls for a specific fuel consumption reduction of 25%, a shaft horsepower/weight ratio gain of 65%, a 20% life improvement, 35% reductions in acquisition/maintenance cost, and a 15% development cost improvement. GE3000 would answer a wide range of operational needs by combining advanced technologies with lessons learned from over 50 years of helicopter experience; backed by the T700 legacy, the all new GE3000 is designed to deliver added mission capability at a lower operating cost [5].


In its effort to explore new territories, GE expanded its activities into the marine and industrial engine sector, having enforced its place as a world leading manufacturer of aircraft gas turbines, having produced over 1,800 aero-derivatives as marine and industrial gas turbine engines [3].

GE introduced a derivative of the successful J79, the LM1500 in 1959 which was first installed aboard a hydrofoil ship [3]. Following its success, GE launched another aero-derivative in 1968; the LM2500 marine gas turbine, a simple-cycle, high-performance engine derived from GE’s TF39 and CF6-6 aircraft engines. The 10300Ib sized LM2500 producing an output of 33,600-shp consisting of a 16-stage, 18:1 pressure ratio compressor with seven (7) stages of variable stators and inlet guide vanes gas generator, a fully annular combustor with externally mounted fuel nozzles, and a two-staged, air-cooled high- pressure turbine that drives the compressor and the accessory gearbox, and a six-staged, aerodynamically coupled low-pressure power turbine running at 3,600rpm which is driven by the gas generator’s high-energy exhaust gas flow (155lb/sec at 1,051 °F) that drives the output shaft of the marine gas turbine [7]. The LM2500 delivers high thermal efficiency and low fuel and airflow per horsepower produced, also offering the ease of installation and maintenance [7]. The LM2500 has become the strength of GE’s present marine and industrial business, with more than fifty classes of ships in 24 world navies with varied applications in cruisers, destroyers, frigates, corvettes, patrol boats, aircraft carriers, cargo/auxiliary ships, cruise ships and high speed ferries [7].

In the1980s, GE presented the LM1600, a derivative of the F404 engine. The 8200Ib sized LM1600 producing an output of 20,000-shp consisting of a 10-stage, 22:1 pressure ratio compressor with two (2) stages of variable stators vanes, a fully annular combustor with externally mounted fuel nozzles, and a two-staged, air-cooled turbine, and a two-staged, aerodynamically coupled low-pressure power turbine running at 7,000rpm which is driven by the gas generator’s high-energy exhaust gas flow (104lb/sec at 1,950 °F) that drives the output shaft of the marine gas turbine. Application examples include military combatants, high speed ferries and luxury yachts [7].

In the 1990’s, GE introduced improved and lower-emission versions of the marine and industrial gas turbines. The LM2500+ marine gas turbine is the 3rd generation improved version of the LM2500; in terms of 20% increased power, the same high availability and reliability and an even higher efficiency of 39% as a result of a lower specific fuel consumption, with its high energy exhaust flow (189lb/sec at 965 °F) that drives the output shaft of the marine gas turbine. The key feature of the LM2500+ is the addition of one stage of compressor blades (stage 0) forward of the LM2500’s first stage blading, increasing the compressor pressure ratio from 18:1 to 23.1:1. The “0” stage is a wide chord single-piece bladed disk without mid-span dampers [7]. LM2500+ has been used in military combatants and amphibious ships, also high speed ferries and cruise ships [7]. The LM2500+ G4 marine gas turbine introduced in 2005 is the 4th generation improved version of the LM2500; main features as compared to the LM2500+ include 17% increased power, the same high reliability and availability, slight increase in efficiency of 39.3% [7]. The combination of its increased airflow higher exhaust gas temperatures (204.7lb/sec at 1020 °F), a higher pressure ratio, 24.2 from 23.1:1, and its improved material selections; are responsible for the increased power. It is the most powerful and efficient member of the LM2500 family. It was first applied for military purposes in the French and Italian frigates of the FREMM (Frigate European Multi-Mission) program [7]. 

The LM500 a two-shaft gas turbine derived from the TF34 aircraft engine without its fan, and is similar in design and materials to the proven LM2500. The compact and lightweight LM500 has the highest fuel efficiency of any gas turbine in its output class of 6000shp. It consists of a 14-stage, 14.5:1 pressure ratio high-pressure compressor with its air-cooled two-stage high-pressure turbine; also the power turbine that is aerodynamically coupled running at 7000rpm is on a second shaft and has four (4) stages to which the load is connected on the air inlet end of the engine [7].

The LM6000 an aero-derivative of the CF6-80C2 high bypass turbofan engine, is regarded as for its high fuel efficiency and power delivery of over 40MW, and its thermal efficiency at over 40%; finds a lot of application in the oil and gas sector, on Floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) and other offshore platforms within the marine environment, power generation for peak load or combined cycle or combined heat and power to be used in Industrial plants, Independent power plants, FPSO, offshore platforms and others such as airports and hospitals. The LM6000 makes no use of an aerodynamically coupled separate power turbine but directly loads the low-pressure turbine shaft. Innovative airflow and cooling technologies also helped the LM6000 achieve exceptional parts life, also providing efficient and reliable power, low fuel consumption, and low emission of Nox, CO and unburned hydrocarbon which is a critical factor for Industrial and marine applications [7].


GE began its journey as a commercial jet engine manufacturer with the introduction of the CF6 in 1971; this development can be traced back to the early 1960’s and the T39 engine, after being awarded a contract in 1965 to develop and incorporate the T39 into the Lockheed C-5A “Galaxy” by the USAF. The design philosophy and technology was used to develop the power plant that would become GE’s cornerstone in the high bypass turbofan commercial market [8].

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The CF6 engine family consist of different engine models; they include CF6-6, CF6-50, CF6-80A, CF6-80C2, and the CF6-80E1model. Starting in 1971 with a thrust of 40,000lb for its CF6-6 model, the company introduced the most recent and highest thrust member of the CF6 family, the CF6-80E1 model in 2003. CF6-80E1 was designed specifically for the Airbus A330, it incorporates the latest technology possessed by GE to provide the lowest fuel burn, lowest weight, proven stall free operation and utmost reliability to maximize the power of the A330. The CF6-80E1 is built on a tradition of reliability and infused with the latest technology from the GEnx. These technological advancements include a 3-D aero-dynamic compressor and R88DT high pressure turbine that provides improved durability and enhanced performance retention. These features allow the CF6-80E1 to offer fuel efficiency, lower emissions, better EGT margin, increased time-on-wing and lower maintenance costs [8]. Another member of the family, CF6-80C2 which was introduced in 1985 is famous for being the engine that powers the U.S. president’s 747 aircraft, Air Force One [8].  The CF6 engine family has accumulated over 367 million flight hours during its more than 40 years of impressive operation for various high bypass aircrafts such as; Airbus A300, -A310, -A320, McConnell Douglas MD-11, Boeing 747 and 767 [8].

In 1971, French engine maker Snecma (Safran group), selected GE to be its partner in the development of smaller commercial turbofan engine. The 50/50 joint venture established CFM International in 1974; the goal was to gain a share in the short to medium range aircraft market dominated by low-bypass engines as of the 1970’s. The first order for its engine came in 1979, when the CFM56-2 (based on GE’s CF6 and Snecma’s M56 engines) was chosen to re-engine DC-8 Series 60 aircraft. Afterwards, the USAF chose the military version of the CFM56-2, branded as the F108 for this application, to re-engine its fleet of KC-135 tanker aircraft to the KC-135R configuration.

These breakthrough orders set the CFM56 success path; today, there are numerous engine lines that make up the CFM56 family, being the most used engine in service compared to than any other commercial turbofan in the world [3]. CFM56-2 powers more over 550 commercial and military aircraft worldwide; CFM56-3 powers nearly 2,000 Boeing 737 aircrafts; CFM56-5A/-5B engines power the Airbus A318, A319, A320, and A32; CFM56-5C is the selected power plant for long-range four-engine Airbus A340; CFM56-7 is the selected engine for the Boeing Next-Generation airliner (737-600/-700/-800/-900) series, due to the 737 unprecedented demands there had to be a production ramp-up of the CFM56-7, while CFM56 production for Airbus also grew intensely [3]. Today there are almost 21,000 CFM engines with over 450 customers worldwide, and it is believed that a CFM powered aircraft takes off every two (2) seconds somewhere in the world [3].

 CFM International made history in 1995, when its CFM56-5B engine became the first engine to be incorporate a double annular combustor (DAC), this engine was used on the Swissair. This innovation gave airliners a 35% reduction in emissions. In 1998, CFM56 launched a technology acquisition program known as Project TECH56, which is advancing technological upgrades to existing engines, also serving as the basis for potential new derivative CFM56 engines [3].

In the early 1990s, the GE90 turbofan engine was developed to power the large, twin-engine Boeing 777. The GE90 family had its standard engine certified on the 777 in 1995; producing a world’s record steady-thrust level of 122,965 pounds. To honour this great milestone, the latest GE90 engine model, GE90-115B was named “the most powerful jet engine in the world” by the Guinness Book of World Records. The GE90-115B engine uses the world’s largest fan (128 inches) made as composite blades, with the highest engine bypass ratio (9:1); to produce the greatest propulsive efficiency for any commercial transport engine [3]. In July 1999, GE90-115B became the exclusive engine for the longer-range Boeing 777-200LR and -300ER aircrafts, the GE90-115B powered 777-300ER entered passenger service in 2004, the GE90 is the best-selling engine for the Boeing 777 aircraft family. Avio of Italy, IHI of Japan, and Snecma of France are participants in the GE90 development program [3].

In 1992, the CF34 turbofan engine derived from the TF34 military engine was introduced, ranging from 9,220 – 20,360lbs thrust [8]. CF34 is the best-selling engine in regional aviation history having bested 5,000 engines in service with over 170 operators; it has been said that “a GE CF34-powered regional jet aircraft takes off somewhere in the world every 8 seconds interval”, The CF34-3 engine family power the Bombardier CL601 and CL604 corporate aircrafts, and the highly successful Bombardier 50-passenger CRJ100 and CRJ200 regional airliners. The CF34-8 engine family power the Bombardier CRJ700 and CRJ900 and the EMBRAER 170 and EMBRAER 175 regional airliners. The CF34-10 engine family the most recent CF34 technology; powers the EMBRAER 190 and EMBRAER 195 regional airliners [3]. COMAC’s order for more than 200 ARJ21 regional jet aircraft and potential for 850 aircraft in the next 20 years, all to be powered by the CF34-10 represents a potential of more than $4 billion in CF34 revenue for GE Aviation [3]. The unique feature of the CF34 engine family is its inherent quietness that make travel comfortable and more productive, also its low noise contributes to greater operational flexibility [3].

In August 1996, GE and Pratt Whitney established a 50/50 joint venture called the Engine Alliance; to develop, manufacture, sell, and support a family of new technology engines for new high-capacity, long-range aircrafts. The GP7200; derived from integrating the GE90 core with the PW4000 low spool heritage; using leading technologies of the two most successful wide-body engines in aviation gives the GP7200 an exceptional fuel efficiency, low emissions and noise, and extraordinary performance. GP7200 is exclusive to the Airbus A380, Engine Alliance recently celebrated its 100th engine delivery to Airbus. [3]. GP7200 Engine specification: Take-off thrust (SLS, ISA) is 70,000lb, Cruise Thrust (35000ft, ISA) is 12,633lb, BPR of 8.7, OPR is 43.9, Length (187in), Fan Diameter (116in), Diameter (124in), Weight (13,400lbs) Core staging(1F/5LPC/9HPC–2HPT/6HPT), Single annular combustor[10].

GEnx is GE’s next generation turbofan and will be the power-plant of this century for medium-capacity, long-range aircrafts. The GEnx is built on the GE90 superior performance with innovative advancements in composite, compressor, combustor and turbine technologies. Being the first commercial jet engine with front fan case and fan blades made of carbon fiber composites, which are both durable and low maintenance, these large more efficient fan blades operate at slower tip speed to reduce noise level by 30% implies that the GEnx would be the quietest, most passenger-friendly commercial engine. Its most efficient twin-annular pre-swirl (TAPS) combustor gives 15% better specific fuel consumption, while also reducing NOx gases as much as 56% below current regulatory limit, also emission for other regulated gases will be about 94.5% below current regulatory limits, ensuring clean compliance in years to come [8]. The GEnx-1B powers the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and is the fastest selling engine in GE’s history with around 1,300 engines on order. GEnx-1B Engine specification: Take-off thrust (SLS, ISA) is 53,200-74,000lb; BPR of 8.6/9.0-9.1/9.6; OPR is 35.6/43.5-47.7/51.4; Length (184.7in), Max. Diameter (111.1in), Core staging(1F/3LPC/10HPC–2HPT/6HPT), Twin-annular pre-swirl (TAPS) combustor [8]. The GEnx-2B engine powers the Boeing’s 747-8 aircraft. GEnx-2B Engine specification: Take-off thrust (SLS, ISA) is 66,500lb; BPR of 7.4-8.0, OPR is 44.7-52.4, Length (169.7in), Max. Diameter (104.2in), Core staging(1F/3LPC/10HPC–2HPT/6HPT), TAPS-combustor [8].

In 2008, CFM International launched LEAP-X, an absolutely new standard turbofan engine to power future replacements for current narrow-body aircraft. LEAP-X will incorporate revolutionary technologies developed over the last 3 years as part of the LEAP56 technology acquisition program [3]. Two engine families will contribute to the design of the LEAP engine, the CFM56 and GE90/GEnx series of engines. The GE90/GEnx contributes high-efficiency core architecture to minimize fuel consumption, while the CFM56 legacy drives reliability and maintenance cost design practices. The LEAP engine family would offer proven material advantages over all other engines, 550,000hours of proven experience with 99.98% reliability, and 22,000 engines delivered on-time and on-specification. Scheduled to enter into service in 2017 [9]. These engines have already been chosen for proposed application; CFM LEAP-1A of 24,500 – 32,900lb thrust range to power the Airbus A320neo, CFM LEAP-1B of 20,000 – 28,000lb thrust range to power the Boeing 737 MAX; and the CFM LEAP-1C of 27,980 – 30,000lb thrust range to power the Comac-C919 [9].

In 2007, GE acquired Smiths Aerospace to broaden its offerings for aviation customers by integrating electrical power management, flight management systems, mechanical actuation systems and airborne platform computing systems to GE Aviation’s commercial and military aircraft engines and related services. A new division of the business was named GE Aviation Systems [3].

 Two years later, GE acquired Naverus, Inc. The Naverus’ Required Navigation Performance (RNP) technology when coupled with GE’s suite of avionics and flight management systems, assists GE to meet customer’s needs for better air traffic management service solutions.   Using the Naverus’ technology which incorporates RNP, GE made history when it introduced the first commercially designed flight path in the United States [3].


GE Aviation at the start of 2008, created a new division focused on the business and general aviation market. The first act was acquiring certain assets of Walter Engines, a Czech Republic-based manufacturer of small turboprop engines and high-precision machined parts for the aviation industry; marking GE’s entrance into the small, twin-engine turboprop aircraft. The M601 engine also named the H-80, for the utility, agriculture and retrofit aircraft segments was the first engine to be introduced. The next year, Thrush Aircraft selected the H80 to power its Thrush 510G Aerial Applicator, marking the first use for the H80. By 2010, the H80 engine first flight on the Thrush 510G aircraft was successful. In July 2009, GE named the H-80 as the chosen engine conversion for the King Air 90, and to this date, over a dozen King Airs have been converted to be powered by the M601E-11A [3]. 

Small Cabin Business Aviation: Based on GE and Honda formed 50/50 joint venture in 2004; called GE Honda Aero Engines, a subsidiary of Honda established to manage its aviation engine business. In 2006, The GE Honda HF120 turbofan engine was introduced and chosen to power Honda Aircraft Company’s advanced light jet, the Honda Jet, and the Spectrum Aeronautical “Freedom” business jet [3].

Large Cabin Business Aviation: Includes aircraft that can travel up to 7,900 nautical miles with eight passengers. In 2010, GE’s Passport engine development was launched to power the new Global 7000 and Global 8000 business jets by Bombardier, The Passport engine will reinforce GE’s place in the ultra-long-range, large cabin business aviation segment by joining advanced technologies from both GE’s commercial and military engines [3].


China has nearly 2,000 GE and CFM56 engines in service; with an additional 1000 engines are on order. The CFM56 and GEnx engines are prevalent with the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 families which are the best-sellers in this region. There is already an order for 44 Boeing 787 Dreamliners to be powered by the GEnx engine, while other GE engine such as the GE90, CF6 and CF34 engines are also flying with many carriers in the region. 

Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) has ordered for 85 ARJ21 aircraft to be powered by CF34-10A engine and a potential market nearly 850 ARJ21 aircrafts in 20 years, summing up to more than $4 billion in potential engine revenues to GE. COMAC chose a complete Integrated Propulsion System (IPS) for its C919 aircraft; CFM will provide the engine known as the advanced LEAP-X1C as the exclusive power-plant for the C919 Aircraft, while Nexcelle (a 50/50 joint venture between GE’s Middle River Aircraft System and SAFRAN Group’s Aircelle) will provide the nacelle and thrust reverser to deliver a complete IPS solution to COMAC. COMAC has forecasted a global market for over 2,000 C919 aircrafts over 20 years following its entry into service, hence a large revenue potential for GE [3]. GE formed a joint venture together with AVIC Systems of China to develop and market integrated, open architecture avionics systems for commercial aircraft customers [3]. 

The Middle East has also seen an expansion of GE engines. At the 2009 Paris Air Show, GE secured $8 billion in total orders: Highlights of the deal included Etihad’s selection of 10 GE90-115B-powered Boeing 777-300ER aircrafts and the GEnx-1B engine to power its new fleet of 35 Boeing 787-9 aircrafts, both valued at list price of $2.2 billion. Also within the same year, GE and Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Development Company signed an extensive agreement that increases GE’s global network of engine maintenance, repair and overhaul providers in the Middle East and further progresses Mubadala’s plans to build a global MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Operations) network centered in Abu Dhabi [3]. 

At the 2010 Farnborough Air Show, Emirates ordered 30 GE90-115B which would be powering Boei


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