Boeing equips prototype 777X airliner with world's largest engine
Boeing has paired the world's largest fanjet engine with the world's largest twin-engine aircraft, the 777X. Photos released by the company show the still incomplete prototype 777X in Boeing's Everett, Washington, assembly hangar with a General Electric GE9X engine fitted to the port wing as the aircraft is readied for its maiden flight later in 2019.
The prototype 777X has been under construction since 2017. Boeing is planning two variants of the long-range, wide-body airliner that is billed as the largest and most efficient twin-engine jet in the world. It's intended to build on the engineering and interior innovations from the Boeing 777 and 787 Dreamliner and will have the ability to tackle such intercontinental routes as New York to Singapore.
With a list price starting at US$350 million, the 777-8 and 777-9 variants will have a range of up to 8,700 nautical miles (10,012 mi, 16,110 km) while seating between 350 and 425 passengers. This is possible through the use of a composite spar made of over 400 miles (644 km) of carbon tape cured in a specially built autoclave, giving the 777X a wingspan of 235 ft (72 m).
To make the best use of this enlarged wing, the 777X will be powered by two GE9X turbofan jet engines. By introducing a new scale of 3D printing in the fan blades and fan case, GE Aviation has been able to reduce the number of fan blades to 16 and reduce the engine weight, while increasing its size and power.
The GE9X is 134 inches (3.41 m) in diameter, making it wider than the fuselage of a Boeing 737, yet it can crank 100,000 lb of thrust with 10 percent greater efficiency than the GE 90 engines. Meanwhile, extensive use of ceramics allows the engine to operate at temperatures of up to 2,400⁰ F (1,316⁰ C) in some areas.
Source: GE Aviation