November 12, 2003 -- VICTORVILLE, CALIFORNIA - GE's CF34-10 engine flew yesterday for the first time, initiating an engine flight-test program that will continue through January 2004. This first flight, which lasted 5 hours and 27 minutes, focused on aeromechanical performance of the engine.
"Our first flight represented a smooth start for the CF34-10 flight-test program,earned through more than 1500 hours of ground testing that involved seven development engines," said Charles "Chip" Blankenship, general manager of the Small Commercial Engines Department of GE Transportation - Aircraft Engines. "The engine met, and in some cases exceeded, our expectations."
A total of 23 flights will be flown on GE's Boeing 747 flying testbed, with the CF34-10 mounted in the number 2 position (inboard under the left wing). The second flight, scheduled for this Friday, November 14, will be devoted to establishing the baseline performance of the engine. Subsequent flights will address such matters as stall mapping, component stability, controls performance during high-speed transients and air-starts, nacelle cooling, high-altitude takeoffs, and high angle-of-attack maneuvers to assess inlet compatibility.
The CF34-10E turbofan engine is the newest, largest and most powerful addition to GE's family of CF34 powerplants for regional aviation. Advanced technology features include: a highly efficient three-dimensional aerodynamic (3-D aero) high-pressure compressor; a single annular combustor (SAC) that reduces oxides of nitrogen (NOx) by as much as 12 percent compared with the NOx emissions of current-technology SACs; a low-solidity high-pressure turbine in which efficiency is improved and the number of airfoils is reduced; and a chevron exhaust nozzle that reduces jet noise.
Launched for the 90- to 110-passenger EMBRAER 190 and EMBRAER 195 regional airliners manufactured by Brazil's Embraer, the CF34-10E is rated at 18,500 pounds of thrust. The engine is scheduled to enter service on the EMBRAER aircraft with JetBlue Airlines in 2005.
GE Transportation - Aircraft Engines is also developing the CF34-10A, a fuselage-mounted variant that will power the China AVIC I Commercial Aircraft Co. Ltd (ACAC) ARJ21 regional jet. The ARJ21 is scheduled to enter service in 2007.
GE Transportation, a division of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE) is the world's leading manufacturer of jet engines for civil and military aircraft. GE Transportation also manufactures gas turbines, derived from its highly successful jet engine programs, for marine applications. In addition, GE Transportation provides comprehensive maintenance support, through its GE Engine Services operation, for GE and non-GE jet engines in service throughout the world.