Some private jets come equipped with master bedrooms, Lalique crystal fittings and gold-plated seat belt buckles. GE’s new Boeing 747, on the other hand, carries almost 900 miles of wiring and fiber optic cable.
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The GE90-115B engine, here attached to GE’s original 747 flying test bed, is the world’s most powerful engine. It generated 127,900 pounds of thrust. That’s more than the combined total horsepower of the Titanic (46,000 pounds) and the Redstone rocket (76,000 pounds) that took the first American to space.
GE acquired the 20-year-old aircraft (pictured above) from Japan Airlines in late 2011 and spent the last 14 months puling out seats, rewiring the plane and installing state-of-the art avionics.
The test jet landed in Victorville with four GE CF6 engines slung under wings, the same kind that powers Air Force One. The engines will allow the 747 to reach 45,000 feet, 30 percent above the average cruising level of passenger aircraft and 5,000 feet higher than GE’s older 747 flying test bed.
The new generation of jet engines is giving a $144 billion lift to GE’s industrial performance. The company has $35 billion in orders and commitments for the GEnx engine, $26 billion (including service agreements) for the GE9X, and $83 billion for the LEAP engine, which is being developed by CFM International, a 50/50 joint venture between GE and France’s Snecma (Safran).
For more information, visit www.ge.com.