The GE Show is here to help us understand the technologies that are changing our lives.


episode three

A Celebration of Flight

segment one : PATHS OF FLIGHT

GE Aviation designs engines, flight paths, and advanced aircraft systems. And we wanted to share the intricate choreography of flying in all its glory. So we captured all the take-offs and landings that happen over the course of one day and combined them into one short film. Watch, and see the hidden beauty of flight reveal itself.

The Path Less Traveled

Flight patterns

The future of flight path planning is Required Navigation Performance (RNP). GE Aviation is now implementing RNP with airline carriers around the world.

This diagram shows the difference between conventional navigation approach paths and the new Optimized RNP path. Optimized RNP uses on-board navigation that allows planes to follow a more precise track than methods that rely on ground-based beacons or radar. This means a significantly reduced fuel burn, shorter flights, and lowered noise from landing aircraft.

A conventional navigation approach from a ground radar system. This is how most planes determine their landing path today.

Area Navigation (RNAV) is equipment onboard the aircraft that calculates and follows a direct navigation path between two points.

RNP is a system in which the onboard aircraft navigation system provides performance monitoring and alerting, allowing the aircraft to fly precise 4D trajectories.

  • 63

    The number of airplanes filmed for this video.

  • 5k

    The number of airplanes in the sky every hour in the US. [source]

  • 24

    The number of hours spent filming airplanes for this video.

  • 50k

    The number of airplanes operating in the US skies every day. [source]

  • 13

    The number of flights we took to film airplanes.

  • 621

    The number of people (in millions) that flew in airplanes in 2010.

  • 4

    The number of security badges we wore.

  • 90%

    The percentage of US airspace covered by radar.

  • 1

    The number of sea lions spotted while filming.

segment two : TEST YOUR PLANE

Designing an airplane isn't easy. You have to know aerodynamics, physics, and how to balance lift, drag, and engine fuel efficiency so that they all work together. No, designing an airplane isn't easy at all. Unless you have our little design application, then it's a walk in the park. If a couple of guys in a silent film can do it, surely you can, too. Give it a shot!

Disclaimer: This game is a simulation for educational purposes. It is not an aircraft design program and may not provide a realistic representation of the design options shown. This game illustrates the interaction of the forces on an airplane, but it does not show exact values for lift, drag, weight, or thrust. Do not attempt to design, build, or fly a full-scale aircraft using any data from this game.

Electric Planes are coming

Something old, something new, something electric – it's all at the Oshkosh air show, where new fight technologies are displayed next to historical planes.

Noteworthy Visualizers

  • As we go though life, we form patterns and designs. They remain hidden, until someone like Aaron gives them visual form and opens our eyes.

  • A moving dimensional visualization of Britain's air traffic patterns.

  • Airplanes waste a lot of fuel and emit loads of CO2 during the last part of the flight - the landing. The answer could be in using more efficient ways to plan descents.

segment three : HIGH FLYING TENS

At GE, we love everything about aviation: daring takeoffs, amazing landings, unusual aircraft, even photos taken by passengers inside the cabin. Got a good airplane video or photo of your own? We'd love to see it, so share your interest and post it on our discussion boards.


You're a jet all the way.


We think of the jet engine as the ultimate—what’s better than a jet? That’s right, nothing. But the familiar enclosed-turbofan design isn’t the only way to make a jet engine, nor the most efficient. GE is working on revolutionary open rotor jets that can cut both fuel consumption and emissions significantly, and they’re coming to a plane near you.

An engine’s efficiency is one of the most important aspects that determine the fuel consumption, speed and range of aircraft. Since the 1970s, GE has worked with NASA on the unducted fan engine, which used 30 percent less fuel than similar conventional jets. Fuel prices fell sharply in the 1980s and early 1990s, so GE never launched this engine commercially.

Today, we realize that we must use our finite resources judiciously. That understanding has reawakened interest in the potential of open rotor engines, which enhance the proven fuel savings of the unducted fan through the application of today’s more advanced technology. In 2009, as part of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administrations’s (FAA) Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions, and Noise (CLEEN) program, GE again started working with NASA to develop the open rotor engines. The modern versions employ two synchronized counterrotating stages of large, variable-pitch blades that tilt while in operation to realize maximum efficiency.

Don’t be surprised if some day soon you board a jet passenger plane and see what looks like propellers attached to the engine. It’s not your imagination, it’s the CLEEN future.