GE Reveals 787 Engine Turbine Upgrade Plan

The revised seven-stage turbine features an updated aerodynamic design at each stage, as well as additional blades, vanes and nozzles to recapture losses discovered on the initial unit. “In an effort to get a lightweight design, we took too many airfoils out of the turbine, and the engine told us it didn’t like that,” Brisken says. The redesign “will cost us a bit of weight, but it will be within the trades we need for better SFC. It will bring us back in line with the specification for Boeing’s engine targets.

“We haven’t certificated two engines back-to-back since the CF6-80C2 in the 1980s,” says GEnx program manager Tom Brisken. Delays to the 787 and 747-8 have resulted in “both engine programs being stacked up on top of each other. In terms of certification, manufacturing and first flight on the two aircraft, they’re almost concurrent.

This was not meant to happen. The first GEnx-1B was originally due to enter service on the 787 in 2008, with the derivative GEnx-2B following on the initial 747-8 Freighter around a year later. However, delays to the 787 mean the 747-8 program—although itself held up by design issues and last year’s strike—has caught up to the smaller twinjet: First flights of the two GE-powered aircraft are expected to occur within weeks of each other in the third and fourth quarters.

These info is an excerpt from a release of GE Infra, Aviation