March 27, 2012By Jenny Callison
On Monday, employees of GE Aircraft’s Wilmington plant saw the rollout of their newest technology, as Japan Airlines (JAL) took delivery of Boeing’s first “Dreamliner” aircraft powered by GE’s GEnx-1B engine. JAL has placed orders for 45 of the giant 787s, which will all be equipped with the popular engine.
The GEnx family is the fastest-selling jet engine in GE history, according to the company’s news release.
The Wilmington workforce developed and now produces rotating parts for the GEnx, parts which draw in air and channel it to the engine’s compressor. GE Aviation plans to produce more than 160 GEnx engines this year. In 2011, the company delivered 140 of these fuel-efficient engines, compared to a total of 67 in 2010. To date, 26 airline companies from all over the world have ordered approximately 800 GEnx-1B engines, with commitments valued at $16 billion.
“The GEnx-1B engine incorporates advanced technologies and material that dramatically improve fuel efficiency, performance, emissions and durability and is the culmination of many years of development efforts from GE employees, partners and suppliers located around the world,” said Bill Fitzgerald, vice president and general manager of Commercial Engine Operations at GE Aviation, in the release.
Another 500 orders have been received by GE Aviation for the newest “family” member, the GEnx-2B, according to the company’s news release.
The company’s news release noted the need for aircraft to be hyper-efficient and environmentally responsible in today's world, where global connections are essential and the FAA is forecasting that national air travel will double in two decades.
The GEnx engine offers up to 15 percent improved fuel efficiency, which translates to 15 percent less CO2 emissions.