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Second Boeing 777X Makes First Flight Powered by GE9X

May 15, 2020 | by Tomas Kellner and Chris Noon
On April 30, the second Boeing 777X airplane successfully completed its test flight, cruising 2 hours and 58 minutes over Washington State and landing at Seattle’s Boeing Field.

Powered by the GE9X engine, the new 777X is the world’s largest and most efficient twin-engine jet. Boeing flew the first 777X in late January.

GE Aviation started testing the GE9X engine in 2017. Capable of supplying 134,000 pounds of thrust, last year it was recognized by the Guinness World Records™ as the most powerful jet engine ever built.

The engine’s front fan utilizes 16 fourth-generation, carbon-fiber composite fan blades and stretches a whopping 11 feet in diameter—as wide as the body of an entire Boeing 737. The engine’s efficient core holds parts made from other advanced materials, including lightweight and heat-resistant ceramic matrix composites, and components made by advanced manufacturing technologies like 3D printing.

Boeing conducted the first flight of its second 777X jet on April 30. Designated WH002, the airplane—shown above taking off from Boeing's airfield in Everett, Washington—is the second of four in a dedicated flight test fleet that will assess handling characteristics and other aspects of flight performance. Image credit (top and above): Boeing.

GE has received orders for more than 700 GE9X engines, but the company is providing the Boeing 777X with more than just raw horsepower. It’s also undertaken the largest installation of systems content that GE has ever accomplished on a commercial aircraft, including the airplane’s common core system. A bit like an airplane’s central nervous system and brain, the CCS hosts the airplane’s avionics, such as computers, networks and interfacing electronics. This includes the enhanced airborne flight recorder (EAFR), which keeps a log of flight crew audio, parametric flight data and data link communications. GE’s EAFRs are already on thousands of military aircraft and Boeing’s 787.

GE Aviation has also worked closely with Boeing as the provider of the electrical load management system (ELMS), backup generator and backup converter for the Boeing 777X. The new power generation system produces twice the power generation of the current 777 system, while the ELMS controls 30% more power.

This article originally appeared in GE Reports.

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GE Aerospace is a world-leading provider of jet and turboprop engines, as well as integrated systems for commercial, military, business and general aviation aircraft.