GE9X certified: Safran Aircraft Engines onboard

On September 28, GE Aviation announced that American authorities have certified its GE9X engine, which will power Boeing’s new 777X long-range, widebody twin family. As a long-standing partner to GE for the production and support of its large turbofans, Safran Aircraft Engines is supplying major parts for the GE9X. We take a brief look at this activity.

World's largest commercial jet engine

Launched in 2013 to succeed the GE90, which powers the current version of the Boeing 777, the GE9X is the largest commercial jet engine in the world, with a fan diameter of nearly 3.35 meters (11 feet) — that's as wide as the body of a single-aisle jet. Boasting the latest technologies, the GE9X will reduce fuel burn by almost 10% for operators as well as deliver significantly lower noise and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions. Certification of the GE9X by the US Federal Aviation Administration is a key milestone in the aircraft certification program, which Boeing launched early this year, with service entry planned for 2022. "We're delighted the GE9X has been certified — it's the fitting culmination of all the efforts by our teams and enables Safran Aircraft Engines to maintain and expand its expertise in large turbofan engines," says Pierre Bachelier-Iltis, head of large turbofan engine programs at Safran Aircraft Engines. "Our teams are fully mobilized to support GE Aviation and Boeing through to aircraft certification and the service entry phase."

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Safran is involved in the GE9X program through its Safran Aircraft Engines and Safran Aero Boosters subsidiaries as a supplier of key parts: the fan disk, case and blades (via CFAN) at the front of the engine, the exhaust case (via FAMAT) at the back and the low-pressure compressor. "The GE9X benefits from Safran's expertise and the many synergies we've developed, especially in composite materials, leading edges and casting of very large structures, to design and produce these highly complex parts," adds Pierre Bachelier-Iltis.

Long-standing partner for large turbofan engines

Safran Aircraft Engines' involvement on the GE9X program is the continuation of a long-standing partnership with GE Aviation for large turbofan engines, alongside the two companies' role in CFM International. Safran Aircraft Engines has a 23.7% stake in the GE90, powering the Boeing 777 family, and is responsible for the high- and low-pressure compressors, as well as the fan blades through its CFAN subsidiary. The company's contributions to other GE Aviation engine programs include the high-pressure compressor for the GP7200, which powers the Airbus A380; production, assembly and testing for the CF6-80; and production of composite fan blades (via CFAN) for GEnx engines on the Boeing 787 and 747-8.

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