GE certifies first performance kit for 787

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GE Aviation says it has received US FAA certification for its first performance improvement package (PIP) for the GEnx-1B turbofan engine for the Boeing 787.

PIP 1 will yield a 1.4% decrease in specific fuel consumption for the engine primarily from an increase in the number low pressure turbine (LPT) blades, says GE.

Boeing plans to certify the GE-powered 787 in the fourth quarter this year, with first delivery to Japan Airlines. GE says JAL's engines will have the PIP 1 upgrade, though other aircraft delivered this year will have a mix of the originally certified Block 4 engines or the PIP 1 engines. By early next year, GE says all engines will be PIP 1 equipped.

Testing is also underway on a PIP 2 for the 75,000lb-thrust (334kN) GEnx-1B, focused primarily on upgrades to the high pressure compressor (HPC) "to bring additional fuel consumption improvements", says GE. The company expects to certify the package next year, with entry into service in 2013.

GE did not provide details on the phasing of PIP 1 and PIP 2 upgrades for legacy engines.