This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
In order to power Boeing’s new 777X aircraft — which is supposed to take to the skies for the first time in 2019 — General Electric is developing a new, incredibly powerful engine: the GE9X. With ground testing done, it is now time for the engine to be put to test on an actual flight. And that just happened for the first time this week.
GE understandably doesn’t want the test engine to be the only one keeping an aircraft in the air. So it has a testbed plane, a four-engined Boeing 747, with one of its engines replaced by the new one. The “GE Propulsion Test Platform” has three standard CF6 engines, a workhorse that GE has been making since the 1970s in various, often modernized versions — and one giant GE9X. The three older engines provide enough power to keep the plane in the air in case the new one fails.
You need only look at the image below to see how ridiculously large the GE9X looks compared to the older engines. That’s because it is the world’s largest turbofan engine, measuring 134 inches (11 feet, 2 inches) in diameter. For reference, the internal cabin diameter of a Boeing 737 is 139 inches. So, yeah, it’s a massive engine.
Despite being able to generate 105,000 pounds of thrust it is, according to its maker, the quietest GE engine ever produced, and will have the least NOx emissions of any GE engine, per pound of thrust produced. It will be slightly less powerful than the GE90-115B that powers the current Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, but it will be 10% more efficient, so the 777X will be able to fly farther than today’s 777s. And because the new 777s will be partially made with lighter, composite materials, its engines don’t need to be as powerful, even though the planes themselves will be larger.
The GE9X program is a couple of months behind schedule due to a design flaw found late last year, but GE already has almost 700 engines on order.
GE Aviation released a video of the takeoff and landing of the first flight:
Featured image courtesy of GE Aviation
With some great bonus categories, the American Express Gold Card has a lot going for it. The card offers 4x points at US restaurants, at US supermarkets (up to $25,000; then 1x), and 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through amextravel.com. It is currently offering a welcome bonus of 35,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months.
- Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
- Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. restaurants. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).
- Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
- Earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with The Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Shake Shack, and Ruth's Chris Steak House. This is an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
- $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
- Choose to carry a balance with interest on eligible charges of $100 or more.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- Annual Fee is $250.
- Terms apply.
- See Rates & Fees