General Electric announced that its commercial aircraft engine, the GE9X, achieved certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The GE9X will be used to power the Boeing 777X, which is currently undergoing flight testing to also be certified by the FAA.
The GE9X started its certification testing in June 2017. All in all, several units of the engine completed a total of 5,000 hours and 8,000 cycles to be certified by the FAA, indicated the company in its press release. The flight test program of the Boeing 777X, which is exclusively powered by the GE9X, is moving forward.
“GE’s focus remains working with Boeing to complete the 777X flight test program and entry into service. Eight GE9X test engines and two test spares have been produced and delivered to Seattle for Boeing’s four 777X test airplanes,” read General Electric’s statement.
GE9X still has to go through additional 3,000 cycles of ground testing in order for the engine to be approved for Extended Twin Operations (ETOPS), allowing it to fly without a diversion airport within 60 minutes from its original flight path.
The certification process hit a bump in the road in June 2019, when General Electric discovered issues with the stator vane in the second stage high-pressure compressor. The manufacturer was forced to redesign the part after the problem was discovered during extended block cycle tests. Boeing executives at the time stated that it would not delay the 777X program.
The Boeing 777X is set to enter service in 2022, indicated its chief executive David Calhoun during the company’s Q2 2020 financial results in July 2019.