A Short Flight for a Jet, A Giant Leap for a Jet Engine
GE – Over the last several weeks, crews at GE Aviation’s flight test base in Victorville, CA, at the edge of the Mojave Desert, installed a next-generation jet engine with ceramic components and 3-D printed parts to the wing of a modified Boeing 747, and readied it for its maiden flight.
The engine, called LEAP, successfully took to the skies on Monday (Oct 6).
There are three versions of the jet engine: the LEAP-1A for the new Airbus 320neo passenger jets, the LEAP-1B for Boeing’s 737MAX aircraft, and the LEAP-1C for China’s COMAC C919 planes.
The LEAP is the bestselling family of jet engines in GE history. CFM has received more than $100 billion in orders (U.S. list price) from airlines like United, Air Asia, American Airlines and easyJet. They will use them on single-aisle aircraft, the fastest growing market in commercial aviation. more> http://tinyurl.com/qzqsbqj
Posted in Business, Economy, Energy & emissions, Science, Technology, Transportation
Tagged Aviation, Business, Efficiency, GE, Jet engine, LEAP, Technology
Honey, I Shrunk the World: How Materials Scientists Made the Globe Smaller
GE – Composites are made from alternating layers of fiber and sheets of carbon, plastic or ceramics, kind of like industrial-grade baklava.
When joined together, composites can be tougher and lighter than steel or titanium. “This was a huge, expensive and risky project,” says Shridhar Nath, who leads the composites lab at GE Global Research. “We planned to replace titanium with what is essentially plastic. We were starting from scratch and we did not know how carbon fiber blades would respond to rain, hail, snow and sand, and the large forces inside the engine.”
The bet paid off and GE has, over time, invested billions more in materials science. The composites research delivered a new line of large, fuel efficient jet engines like the GE90 and GEnx, that changed the economics of aviation forever. “The engines essentially opened the globe up to incredibly efficient, twin-powered, wide-body planes,” says David Joyce, president and CEO of GE Aviation.
The latest engine in that family, the GE9X, will power Boeing’s next-generation 777X long-haul jets. Light-weight carbon composites allowed engineers to design an 11-foot fan that can suck a maelstrom of 8,000 pounds of air per second inside the engine. The air will flows into the combustor, where it meets parts made from ceramic matrix composites (CMCs), another breakthrough material developed by GE scientists.
Carbon fiber composites work with cold air at the front of the engine. But CMCs operate in the engine’s hot section, at temperatures where even metals grow soft. The extra heat gained by the ceramics gives the engine more energy to work with and makes it more efficient.
CMCs also have twice the strength and just a third of the weight of their metal counterparts. This allows designers to make parts from them thinner and much lighter, further reducing the weight of the engine. more> http://tinyurl.com/lt5wlnn
Posted in Business, Economic development, Economy, History, Product, Science, Technology, Transportation
Tagged Ceramic matrix composite, CMC, Composite material, GE, GEnx, Industrial economy, LEAP, Manufacturing, NASA
Fit to Print: New GE Plant Will Assemble World’s First Passenger Jet Engine With 3D Printed Fuel Nozzles, Next-Gen Materials
GE – GE Aviation will open a new assembly plant in Indiana to build the world’s first passenger jet engine with 3D printed fuel nozzles and next-generation materials, including heat-resistant ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) and breakthrough carbon fiber fan blades woven in all three dimensions at once.
Though the engine, called LEAP, will not enter service until 2016 on the Airbus A320neo, it has already become GE Aviation’s bestselling engine, with more than 6,000 confirmed orders from 20 countries, valued at more than $78 billion. more> http://goo.gl/r8W1Om
Posted in Business, Economic development, Economy, Energy & emissions, Product, Technology, Transportation
Tagged 3D printing, Business improvement, Electronics, GE, Industrial economy, Jet engine, LEAP, Manufacturing, Productivity, Technology, United States