Boeing showed its latest passenger jet, the 777X, to the public a few months ago, but the plane keeps making headlines. In January, Qatar Airways became the launch customer for the freight version of the jet, and this week Singapore Airlines announced an additional order for 22 GE9X engines to power its fleet of Boeing 777-9 aircraft, the largest version of the 777X, capable of carrying of up to 426 passengers. The order, which includes a 12-year services contract, is valued at $2.8 billion at list price.
Lau Hwa Peng, senior vice president of engineering for Singapore Airlines, said, “The cutting-edge technologies that have gone into the Boeing 777-9 and the GE9X engines will help SIA to increase our operating efficiencies, lower our fuel burn and materially reduce our carbon emissions. This will reinforce SIA’s position as a leading global airline, and enable us to capture future growth opportunities.”
Singapore Airlines has a total of 31 Boeing 777-9 aircraft on order and is scheduled to be the first airline in the Asia-Pacific region to operate the jet. In 2017, the airline placed an initial order for 40 GE9X engines and five spares.
“Singapore Airlines has been a long-standing customer and we are proud to continue to grow our relationship," said GE9X program general manager Mike Hoffmeister. “The GE9X engine offers a combination of power and fuel efficiency that is unmatched in its class.”
The Boeing 777-9 is projected to be the world’s largest and most efficient twin-engine jet, delivering 10% better fuel use, emissions and operating costs than any aircraft in its class. Part of those savings will come from the GE9X, which is the world’s most powerful jet engine, capable of generating 134,000 pounds of thrust.
The GE9X is using the latest technology from GE’s toolbox, including heat-resistant ceramic matrix composite (CMC) materials, parts made by 3D printing, and a combustion system that helps improve fuel efficiency. Its front fan, which measures 11 feet in diameter, uses the fourth generation of carbon-fiber composite fan blades.
With an overall 60:1 pressure ratio between the front and end points of the compressor, the GE9X engine also has the highest pressure ratio of any commercial aircraft engine in service. As result, the GE9X engine is not dramatically larger than engines in GE’s GE90 family that came before it, even though it’s more efficient.
Like all GE commercial engines, the GE9X is compatible with any approved sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).
Image credit: Boeing