NBAA: GE Aviation starts stamping parts for Passport 20

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GE Aviation confirms launching production of the Passport 20 six months ahead of the first engine to test milestone.

The 16,500lb-thrust engine selected to power the Bombardier Global 7000 and Global 8000 business jets completed design freeze earlier this year.

"We are in the process of producing all the parts and building the first engine," says Brad Mottier, vice president and general manager of GE Aviation's business and general aviation division.

The Passport 20 must be ready to by 2014 to enter flight tests on a General Electric testbed.

"This is moving along very well," he says.

GE Aviation designed the Passport 20 with the same core but smaller-diameter fan than the NG34, which is aimed at the market for regional jets and small narrowbodies. The reduced size of the fan allows the Passport 20 to compete for business jet applications, which often require higher cruise speeds.

The Passport 20 also includes a fan cowling designed by Nexcelle. The combination of the cowling and the improved engine performance allows the engine to have 8% lower specific fuel competition than what GE Aviation describes as the existing "best-in-class" competitor, which is generally understood to mean the Rolls-Royce BR725 turbofan.

The Passport 20 has a 52in fan diameter with an 18-blade titanium fan blisk. The core of the engine includes a three-stage booster, 10-stage high-pressure compressor, including blisks on the first four stages. The engine also features an annular combustion chamber, two-stage high-pressure turbine and four-stage low-pressure turbine.