The Great Farnborough Airshow Scavenger Hunt For GE Tech
July 16, 2016
GE technology has been hiding in many unexpected places at the Farnborough International Airshow, which ends on Sunday in England. It was in the wings of the latest wide-body plane from Airbus, the A350 XWB, in the engines of the next-generation Boeing 737 MAX, in the cockpit of the newest Gulfstream jet, and even under the hood of a brand-new F-18 Super Hornet. We dispatched pilot and photographer Adam Senatori to sniff it out. Here’s what he brought back.
Top and above: Boeing test pilot Ed Wilson brought to Farnborough the American plane maker’s brand new, next-generation Boeing 737 MAX passenger jet. The jet uses a pair of LEAP-1B jet engines developed by CFM International, a joint venture between GE Aviation and Safran Aircraft Engines of France. The LEAP is the first jet engine in the world with 3D-printed fuel nozzles and space-age, heat-resistant ceramics that are as tough as the best alloys but weigh one-third as much. As a result, the LEAP is 15 percent more fuel efficient that comparable CFM engines. All images credit: Adam Senatori for GE Reports
The U.S. Navy’s submarine-hunting Boeing P-8 Poseidon plane is a modified version of the 737-800 passenger jet that serves many short-haul flights around the world. The Poseidon uses a pair of CFM56 engines.
This Airbus A380 jet, which arrived last Sunday, is powered by has four GP72000 engines from Engine Alliance (EA), a joint venture between GE Aviation and Pratt & Whitney. The engines include core technology from the GE90, the world’s most powerful jet engine. EA calls the GP7200 the “talking engine” because it can be connected to the Industrial Internet.
GE workers in Hamble, UK, are making the flexible wing trailing edges for the Airbus A350 XWB. It's “one of the most complex, highly loaded parts of the wing that require utmost precision and mastery in the assembly process, as well as in the design and stress calculation,” says Mike Bausor, Airbus marketing director for the A350 XWB plane.
The Honda Jet's HF120 jet engines were jointly developed by GE Aviation and Honda. With 18.5 inches in diameter and 2,095 pounds of thrust, it is the smallest jet engine in GE’s portfolio. For comparison, GE’s most powerful engine, the GE90-115B developed for Boeing 777 jets, can generate 127,900 pounds of thrust.
This brand-new Boeing F-18 Super Hornet was one of the highlights of the show. The supersonic fighter jet uses a pair of powerful GE F414 jet engines, whose noise rattled windows during daily flyovers.
The same F414 engines will also power the next-generation Saab JAS 39 Gripen jets. The air forces of the Czech Republic, Sweden Hungary and Switzeland use these planes and more are interested. Top: A detail of the Gripen's external fuel tank.
The Volga-Dnepr Group brought to Farnborough a brand-new Boeing 747-8 freighter powered by four GEnx-2B jet engines, a sibling of the GEnx-1B engine GE developed for the Dreamliner . GE also signed a $1.4 billion deal to service the cargo operator's GEnx engines.
GE's Italian subsidiary Avio Aero designed and makes the powerful engine gearbox for this Airbus A400 transport plane.
GE Aviation's CF34 engines power a number of aircraft, including this Bombardier jet. But they also landed on the fashion runway. Last fall, Louis Vuitton’s creative director, the French designer Nicolas Ghesquière, used Adam Senatori's images of jet engines including the CF34 to design his new collection. The clothing is in stores now.
The cockpit canopy of the F-16 fighter jet. The F-16 uses a single F110 GE jet engine.
The flight deck of the Gulfstream G650 ER. This business je, which Qatar Airways brought to Farnborough, can travel just under the speed of sound, or 0.925 Mach. The plane is using avionics and a digital aircraft monitoring system from GE Aviation.
This F-35 Joint Strike Fighter takes advantage of GE avionics and other power management technology. In the future, it could also use GE Aviation's next-generation ADVENT jet engines. The company just received $1 billion from the Air Force to develop the engine.
Adam Senatori took this selfie next to the landing gear of a giant Antonov An-124 cargo jet. The plane doesn't use any GE technology, but ships GE jet engines and power plants to customers around the world when they need it fast.