General Electric’s GEnx reached 80,500lb thrust (360kN) on 21 March, two days after its first run at the company’s Peebles test site in Ohio.

Testing of the new engine, which will power the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 and 747-8, includes a maturation programme that will run for 50,000 cycles, and reach the 15,000 mark by service entry in 2008.

GE nx engine Fan W445

Ground testing began last week at GE's Peebles plant

Initial tests are focused on the GEnx variant for the 787, with flight tests on GE’s 747-100 flying testbed targeted for the third quarter of this year. The engine is scheduled to begin flight tests on the 787 around a year later.

The GEnx-72A1 variant of the engine, originally launched into development as the GEnx-54/64 and -70B1 series for the 787, is due to enter service on the A350 in 2010, two years behind the Boeing twinjet. First engine test for the A350 variant is set for late 2007 and US certification is targeted for early 2009.

The first run of the GEnx for the 747-8 is targeted for the third quarter of 2007, with service entry on the freight version set for around August 2009. Fan diameter for the 747-8 variant will be slightly smaller at 2.64m (104in) versus the 2.82m fan of the 787 version, and the engine is adapted to produce bleed air.

The first runs of the GEnx come five weeks after the initial run of the competing Rolls-Royce Trent 1000, which was started for the first time on 14 February. R-R reveals that the initial Trent 1000 test engine generated thrust levels “well in excess” of 80,000lb during the final series of runs before its removal from the test stand on 14 March. The thrust level is believed to be around 10% higher than the 75,000lb take-off thrust rating offered at the top end of the Trent 1000 rating scale, and therefore well above the maximum 74,000lb thrust requirement currently expected for the stretched 787-9.


Source: Flight International