GE Aerospace delivers 3,000th GE90 engine

It was touted at its 1990 launch as “the world’s largest and most powerful jet engine.”

On Tuesday, GE Aerospace said it had delivered its 3,000th GE90 production engine.

“Not many would have believed that we’d come close to this 3,000-engine milestone during the early years of the GE90 program,” Nate Hoening, GE90 program manager for GE Aerospace, said in a new statement. “We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Boeing, our GE90 customers around the world, and all of the dedicated workers who have made this marvel of an engine one of aviation’s great success stories.”

Based in Evendale, but with about 1,400 employees in Dayton, Beavercreek and Vandalia, GE Aerospace said the engine was designed for the Boeing 777 family.

Dayton-area workers contribute to the engine.

GE’s Beavercreek site at Miami Valley Research Park produces tubes and ducts for more than 30 jet engine models, including the GE90, GE Aerospace spokesman Nick Hurm said.

This includes the engine’s starter duct, manifolds, and numerous oil, fuel, and hydraulic lines.

Both the Beavercreek site and Vandalia GE sites also produce parts for the GE9X engine which powers the Boeing 777X, Hurm also said.

The GE90 engine family has combined for nearly 130 million flight hours and 18 million cycles since it entered service in 1995, the aerospace company said.

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

Today, 29 GE90 engines have more than 100,000 flying hours, with the fleet leaders approaching 107,000 hours and 19,000 cycles.

While the engine has a storied history, its tale has been at times turbulent.

When the company took a $275 million tax write-off after cancelling an upgrade to make the engine capable of 102,000 pounds of thrust for a larger 777 model, “the financial press had a field day with the apparent demise of GE’s most expensive new product in decades,” GE noted in a 2019 blog post.

Today, production totals include 408 base engines (GE90-94B) and 2,592 growth engines (GE90-115B). Originally one of three engine choices for 777, Boeing selected the GE90-115B in July 1999 as the exclusive power for longer-range Boeing 777-300ER and 777-200LR jetliners.

“Its architecture and mechanical design have influenced every GE and CFM turbofan over the last two decades, from the popular GEnx and record-selling CFM LEAP engine to the Passport for corporate jets and the next generation GE9X engine for the Boeing 777X family,” GE said.

CFM International is a 50/50 joint venture between GE Aerospace and Safran Aircraft Engines, based in Butler County’s West Chester Twp.

The engine’s firsts include:

  • The first commercial engine to enter service with carbon fiber composite fan blades
  • The first commercial engine certified at over 100,000 pounds of thrust
  • The first engine certified for ETOPS (Extended-range Twin-engine Operation Performance Standards)

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