GE Aviation technicians work on the new GE9X engine for Boeing. (Photo courtesy of GE Aviation)
Things are about to get a lot busier at GE Aviation’s Wilmington facility on Castle Hayne Rd.
Singapore Airlines has just ordered 20 Boeing 777-9 aircraft, plus five spare engines. That’s a total of 45 of the new GE9X engines valued at more than $2 billion.
“We’re excited about the opportunity to be a source for GE9X hardware,” said GE Aviation’s Wilmington site leader Jason Swinny. “As the program has accelerated over the last year, we’ve industrialized the site and equipment, including successfully producing components for engines that are part of the 9X test program.”
The Wilmington site produces compressor spools, compressor blisks and high-pressure turbine rotor disks for the GE9X engine.
“When the program reaches full production, approximately half of Wilmington’s 650 employees will be involved,” Swinny said.
"Singapore Airlines' order for 20 GE9X-powered 777-9 aircraft demonstrates the airline's confidence in the new engine-aircraft combination," said Ted Ingling, GE9X general manager at GE Aviation, in a news release. "The new GE9X engine has performed flawlessly through initial testing. It has become one of the fastest selling widebody engines for GE Aviation."
The GE90 engine provided the foundation for the new GE9X. The Wilmington site manufactures similar components for the GE90, the world’s most powerful commercial engine. The GE90 powers the Boeing 777 aircraft and delivered a record setting 127,900 pounds of thrust during its test program.
“GE90 entered service in 1995 and more than 2,400 have been delivered,” Swinny said.
Swinny said a blend of evolutionary and revolutionary designs would enable the GE9X to be “the most fuel-efficient jet engine GE has ever produced on a per-pounds-of-thrust basis.”