GE Aviation has begun assembly of the first Passport development engine selected to power Bombardier's in-development Global 7000 and 8000 business jets.

Testing of the 16,500lb (73kN)-thrust engine is scheduled for the second quarter of 2013. The ultra-long-range aircraft are scheduled for service entry in 2016 and 2017 respectively.

The Passport 20 is designed to provide fuel savings of up to 8% compared with the Rolls-Royce BR725 that powers the only competitor in the sector - the Gulfstream G650.

GE Aviation Passport 20 engine

 GE Aviation 

It has a 52in (132cm) fan diameter with an 18-blade titanium fan blisk. The core of the engine includes a three-stage booster and a 10-stage high-pressure compressor, including blisks on the first four stages. The engine also features an annular combustion chamber, a two-stage high-pressure turbine, and a four-stage low-pressure turbine.

"The Passport's integrated propulsion system from Nexcelle - a joint venture between GE and Safran - will feature a slim-line nacelle with outward opening cowl to reduce weight and drag while allowing for easy maintenance access and high dispatch availability," says GE.

Since launching the engine in 2010, GE has conducted validation tests on the fan blisk design, including two fan blade-out rig tests, ingestion tests and a fan aero rig test to demonstrate fan efficiency. About 150h of testing has also been conducted on two eCore demonstrators. GE says another eCore demonstrator is scheduled to run this year.

Source: Flight International