AirBridgeCargo, together with GE Aviation, successfully completed the GE9X loading and unloading validation run in record time last week.
The world’s largest and most powerful jet turbine was built by GE technician Ted Ingling and his team. Prior to joining GE he worked as a car mechanic.
GE Aviation’s GE9X is an amazing feat of engineering in more ways than one and breaks a number of records. For instance: it has its own entry in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s most powerful engine, having reached 134,300 pounds of thrust during a test run. It is also the world’s largest jet engine, weighing in at 11,545kg, with its propulsor core measuring 285 cm in height (the fan diameter reaches 340 cm once mounted). In fact, its diameter is the same length as that of the body of a 737! And, Ted Ingling says “The GE9X is the most fuel-efficient jet engine that GE has ever produced in this class, operating at 10 percent lower fuel consumption than competing engines.”
The GE9X was developed to power Boeing’s 777X which took off on its first test flight last week. A test flight that was originally planned for 2019 but delayed due to GE discovering and
disclosing issues with the engine’s stator vanes at the Paris Air Show. Thus, work on certifying the engines which had been under development since 2013, was halted until the problem could be
solved. GE Aviation had to recall four GE9X “compliance engines” – those used for 777X test flights, from Boeing at the time.
In total, 10 of these compliant engines have been built. Eight will be mounted on flying test airplanes, and two are spares for Boeing. Engines for the first three aircraft have already been delivered and the balance will be in Seattle in the coming weeks. GE has already received orders for over 700 GE9X engines, and these are going to require transportation.
ABC XL service for oversize shipments
Who better to entrust transportation to, than AirBridge Cargo with its ABC XL product, launched specifically of these kinds of oversize shipments, and for which demand has steadily increased over the past year.
AirBridge Cargo successfully completed a trial loading of the GE9X onboard of one of its 747-8 freighters on 31JAN20, in Chicago, IL. Representatives from GE were on site to witness the operation. For such a large piece of freight, the entire on and off-loading process was very quick, and indicative of the intense planning that had already gone into the trial.
The operation began with the arrival on the engine at 9:00 a.m., local time, and the first inspection for on-truck fixation. The two ABC and GE teams worked out how best to position the engine onboard and attach it to the aircraft's structures, using 20-foot pallets, cranes and other equipment. It took a mere 30 minutes to move the GE9X engine from the delivery truck to a pallet.
Loaded in the blink of an eye
Just 7 minutes later and the ABC team had succeeded in loading the engine through the side cargo door. Once loaded, all clearances were measured for further processing and recorded in a transportation manual. The engine was then off-loaded again in less than 10 minutes.
Jin Suzuki, GE Aviation’s GE9X Product Support Engineer, was delighted with the successful operation: "It was a great pleasure working with AirBridgeCargo on the 747F transportation validation. Our teams learned much through this process, and the AirBridgeCargo team was highly competent in their efforts. This is a great step forward for the GE9X entry in service readiness effort."
A sentiment that was echoed by AirBridge Cargo’s Deputy General Director, Fedor Novikov: "We are proud to be a part of the GE9x transportation manual development. We appreciate the vote of confidence and look forward to supporting GE further."
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