Boeing’s 777-9 will be powered by the world’s biggest engines – the GE9X.
General Electric has developed the GE9X to power the new Boeing 777-9. It will deliver a thrust of 105,000 pounds and its fan diameter of 133.5 inches is the largest GE has ever produced. The GE9X is the world’s largest jet engine, which is what the Triple Seven needs to fly and will make it the largest and most-efficient twin-engine aircraft in the world.
The aviation industry has evolved over the last two decades with Boeing and Airbus developing wide-body commercial aircraft that satisfied the needs of the world’s major airlines. For airlines to grow their bottom lines they needed fuel-efficient planes that would carry hundreds of passengers on long-distance routes, particularly across the Pacific.
The engines to power the new designs needed to evolve – in some cases more radically than the planes themselves.
Restrictions were lifted in the early 1990s that enabled commercial aircraft flying over 10,000 miles. Airlines and manufacturers were able to utilize aircraft with just two engines. To do that however, those engines had to be ultra-reliable and have enough power for the wide-body aircraft needed to maximize revenue.
GE was able to find the golden ticket. Instead of upgrading its previous engine models, GE engineers basically reinvented the wheel.
The GE-90 series, which has produced the world’s largest and the most powerful turbofan engine, earned a place in the Guinness World Records book by producing127,000 pounds of thrust. It was powerful and efficient.
The turbine fans were so large that the blades were made of revolutionary carbon fiber material. Those blades were larger and lighter, providing a double dip of more power and less weight. Plus, the blades are more durable, reducing maintenance costs. Coupled with fuel efficiency, airlines were thrilled to have their planes powered by the GE-90 series of engines.
Another GE engine breakthrough involved the compressor which also boosted the thrust to record levels thanks to improved pressure levels.
The GE-9X, which will power the Boeing 777, has an improved compressor that will reduce fuel consumption by 10 percent.
For comparisons of three major jet engines in use, here’s a video of the Pratt & Whitney PW4000, the Rolls Royce Trent 800 and the General Electric GE-90 performing during takeoff.