Advanced Material and Finishing Technique Make Debut on Passport Engine

The PassportTM engine for the Bombardier Global 7000 and Global 8000 aircraft incorporates ceramic matrix composite (CMC) material and a unique blade surface that will improve performance, reduce fuel burn and enhance durability.

"GE Aviation invests close to $1 billion annually on research and development of advanced technologies and materials, and the Passport engine is benefitting from these efforts," said Brad Mottier, vice president and general manager of the Business & General Aviation and Integrated Systems organization at GE Aviation. "The Passport engine will be the first non-military engine to use Oxide-Oxide (Ox-Ox) CMCs and the first GE business aviation engine to feature super finish. These features will provide significant advantages to our customers."

GE Aviation began developing Ox-Ox in the late 1980s as part of its CMC research efforts. Ox-Ox was introduced on F414 exhaust seals in 2011 to improve durability. For the Passport engine, the Ox-Ox CMC material will be used on three parts: exhaust mixer, centerbody and core cowls. The lightweight material is resistant to high temperatures found in the exhaust area. These advantages will enhance the engine's durability and lower fuel consumption.

Passport's high pressure compressor (HPC) blades and blisks feature a unique super finish surface, which makes the blades four times smoother than traditional blades. The super finish allows the air to pass more efficiently over the blades, resulting in lower fuel consumption. The surface finish also allows the blades to better retain their efficiency and performance by creating a layer of air, which guards against contaminants that might stick to traditional blades.

Certification testing on the Passport engine continues, with the second Passport engine on the test stand at GE Aviation's Peebles Testing Operation in Ohio (USA). This follows the first engine to test that occurred on June 24 in which the engine reached maximum thrust of 19,200 pounds. The engine has accumulated more than 130 hours and 220 cycles of ground-testing and will rack up 4,000 hours and 8,000 cycles before entry-into-service.

The certification program will involve testing of eight Passport engines and two cores. Flight testing on GE's flying testbed is scheduled for 2014. Engine certification is anticipated in 2015.

The Passport engine will produce 16,500 pounds of thrust and will provide: 8 percent lower specific fuel consumption than engines in its class; margin to CAEP/6 emissions and to Stage 4 noise regulations; and world-class reliability and support. Among the engine technologies: a composite fan case to reduce weight, a unique 52-inch front fan blisk for lower cabin noise and vibration and technologies from GE's eCore suite to lower emissions and improve fuel efficiency. The Passport's integrated propulsion system from Nexcelle, a joint venture between GE and Safran, will feature a slim-line nacelle with outward-opening cowl to reduce weight and drag while allowing for easy maintenance access and high dispatch availability.

Source: GE Aviation
Date: Oct 24, 2013