GE poised to receive GEnx engine certification for 787

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General Electric (GE) within weeks expects to receive certification for the baseline GEnx engine that will power the delayed Boeing 787 twinjet.

Documentation to the US FAA is being processed and certification will occur “sometime by the end of this quarter”, said GE Aviation president and CEO Scott Donnelly today at the JP Morgan Aviation and Transportation Conference in New York.

GE is developing two versions of the GEnx, the -1B powering the 787 and the -2B for the 747-8. Delays to the 787 have given both GE and rival supplier Rolls-Royce more time to mature their engines before entry into service.

This extra time is facilitating an improvement program for the -1B; these improvements are now being tested on the -2B.

While GE is “obviously a little bit disappointed to see the slide in the 787” schedule, says Donnelly, the GEnx engine “will be ready to go” when Boeing is ready. The airframer has said it will release its new 787 schedule by the end of this quarter.

GE, meanwhile, achieved “a significant milestone” in the GEnx-2B program when, during ground testing last week at GE’s outdoor testing facility in Peebles, Ohio, the engine demonstrated 70,950lb of takeoff thrust.

“The initial results of the ground tests are extremely positive, and we look forward to preparing the engine for flight tests on GE’s flying test bed later this year,” said Tom Brisken, general manager of the GEnx program, in a statement.

The certification program for the GEnx-2B engine will involve five engines. Engine certification is anticipated in first half of 2009 with entry into service in late 2009.