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GE testing largest ever commercial jet engines

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General Electric is currently putting a one-sixth scale version of the largest ever commercial jet engine through wind tunnel tests.

AAP reports that the jet engines, known as GE9X will be used in Boeing’s new 777X aircraft which are scheduled for delivery in 2020.

Currently, the world’s largest commercial jet engine is the GE90 which powers the current Boeing 777 and has a diameter greater than three metres.

The GE9X will have a diameter which is 0.3 metres longer than the GE90, yet will be more efficient and will operate at lower power.

Currently, GE is testing the aerodynamic performance of three different fan blades for use in the GE9X.

The 777X will continue competition between Boeing and Airbus for the long haul jet market. The 777-9X will be a 400-seat plane. It is expected to be Boeing 's response to a growing challenge from the largest version of Europe's newest aircraft, the Airbus A350-1000.

Ultra-long haul aircrafts still represent a niche market. This is because when modern aircraft fly the longest 15-hour flights, the first few hours are spent mostly burning the fuel needed to carry the extra fuel for the rest of the flight.

Image: General Electric

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