NBAA: GE TechX fan blisk is all the buzz

Washington DC
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GE Aviation has revealed that its 16,500lb thrust (712kN) engine for the new Bombardier Global 7000 and Global 8000 business jets will have a single-piece 52in (132cm) diameter metal fan blisk, the first for an engine of this size.

In addition to being more damage-tolerant, GE business and general aviation vice president and general manager, Brad Mottier, says the fan blisk will eliminate the typical balancing problems experienced by hub and blade rotors, reducing vibration.

In addition, the blisk will eliminate air leakage paths that occur in hub and blade rotors, increasing the propulsive efficiency of the engine. The company says it is performing trade studies to determine the metal to be used and is developing quick removal capability for occasions where the blisk is damaged by impact large debris such as birds.

Combined with the nacelle and thrust reverser system being provided by the Middle River Aircraft Systems (MRAS) and Aircelle joint venture, Nexcelle, the integrated propulsion system will deliver an 8% reduction in specific fuel consumption compared with current engines in the segment, namely the Rolls-Royce BR710 that powers the current Global Express family.

Based on GE's "eCore" technology, a key element of the Leap-X engines GE is developing for the airline market, the TechX engine features a three-stage booster and a 10-stage high pressure compressor that provides a 22:1 pressure ratio across lean-burn combustors that meet nitrogen oxides emissions levels with 50% margin on CAEP/6 limits.

Downstream of the combustor is a two-stage high-pressure turbine and four-stage low-pressure turbine.

GE is teaming with Bombardier to offer "seamless" customer support for the entire aircraft, a shift from how it previously handled engine servicing for the Challenger series with GE CF34 engines.

GE plans to build the first TechX engine in 2013, with testing starting in 2014 and certification and entry into service on the Global 7000 in 2016.