GE Aviation will enter the Farnborough Air Show on Monday with a wave of new product and technology introductions while expanding its factory network to deliver on a record $154 billion industrial backlog of product and services.
Calling the past 10 years a “unique era” in commercial aviation for product development and investment, David Joyce, president and CEO of GE Aviation, said GE and its partner engine companies* will deliver more than 2,800 large commercial engines in 2016. Between, 2015 and 2020, GE and its partner companies will deliver 10,000 large commercial engines.
“Investment in the aviation industry over the past decade has been remarkable,” Joyce said. “Not just at GE Aviation, but with all of the major aviation industrial suppliers. It reflects a huge confidence in the aviation industry around the world.” From 2010 through 2016, GE Aviation’s R&D investments will surpass $7.5 billion.
From running the first full GE9X engine for the Boeing 777X to certifying the Passport jet engine for the Bombardier Global 7000 and Global 8000, GE Aviation this year is introducing new jet engines for business jets to wide-body airline aircraft.
GE Aviation has announced eight new factories in eight years to respond to record engine orders. By year’s end, GE and CFM International (the 50/50 joint company of GE and Safran) will have more than 15,000 commercial engines on back order.
Production CFM LEAP-1A engines are being delivered on time for the new Airbus A320neo for entry into service this month. The recently certified CFM LEAP-1B engines are being flight tested on the new Boeing 737 MAX for entry into service in 2017. In response, GE Aviation this year opened a new assembly factory in Lafayette, Indiana for the LEAP engine family.
With these new engines, GE is introducing break-through technologies such as ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) and sophisticated components produced with the additive manufacturing process. In the military realm, these technologies have helped GE’s advanced demonstrator engines achieve the highest temperatures and compressor pressure ratios of any jet engines in history.
“We are creating the first integrated supply chain for CMC components in the jet propulsion industry,” Joyce said. Last month, GE broke ground on two factories in Huntsville, Alabama (U.S.A.) that will produce CMC materials. They join GE Aviation’s CMC network of production and research facilities in Asheville, North Carolina; Evendale, Ohio; and Newark, Delaware.
“The creation of our CMC supply chain shows the power of the GE Store,” Joyce said, speaking to GE Aviation’s collaboration on advanced materials with the corporation’s other industrial businesses. “We are learning from each other without paying the same cost twice. We are doing the same with our digital efforts.”
For example, GE Aviation this year transitioned the approximately 34,000 jet engines in commercial service that are monitored and diagnosed around-the-clock to the company-developed Predix cloud-based platform, which has resulted in operational data being captured and analyzed with greater speed and accuracy. To support GE Aviation’s digital efforts, the company this year is opening Digital Collaboration Centers in Paris, Shanghai, and Austin, Texas.
The transition to Predix this year coincided with GE’s launch of the TrueChoice suite of engine maintenance offerings across a commercial engine’s lifecycle. Within the TrueChoice offerings are several mobile phone applications The TrueChoice offerings also preserve the customer’s flexibility to choose between GE, GE-licensed, or fully independent, third-party maintenance providers. At Farnborough, GE will introduce several data-driven software applications that help customers optimize their engine operations.
Clearly, a digital technology thread runs through the entire life cycle of GE engines, from its new factories that produce advanced materials and components, through engine developments, to maintaining those engines through decades of operational service.
GE Aviation, an operating unit of GE, is a world-leading provider of jet engines, components and integrated systems for commercial and military aircraft. GE Aviation has a global service network to support these offerings. For more information, visit us at www.geaviation.com
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