Continental Airlines has selected General Electric Company’s GEnx jet engine to power its fleet of 10 new Boeing 787 aircraft.
The engine order is valued at more than $250 million and represents General Electric Company’s first GEnx order with a U.S.-based airline. Aircraft deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2009.
A leading operator of GE jet engines, Continental flies more than 300 aircraft powered by GE and CFM International, a 50/50 joint company of GE and Snecma of France. Continental was also one of the first operators of GE90-powered 777 aircraft.
“”Continental Airlines and GE enjoy a very strong relationship and we share a tremendous history together,”” said Scott Donnelly, president and CEO of GE-Aviation.
“”We are pleased to be the major airline launch customer for the GEnx engine and look forward to continuing our partnership with GE,”” said Larry Kellner, chairman and CEO of Continental Airlines. “”The advance technology of the GEnx combined with the superior economics of the 787 will make this aircraft an integral part of Continental’s international growth strategy.””
The GEnx is based on the highly successful GE90 architecture. It will succeed GE’s CF6 engine family, which is the most reliable and best-selling engine on wide-body aircraft, according to GE.
The GEnx provides significantly better fuel burn and payload performance than GE’s CF6 engines. It is the world’s only jet engine with a front fan case and fan blades made of composites, which provide for greater engine durability, weight reduction and lower operating costs. The fan blades will utilize GE90 composite technology that has performed flawlessly, with no in-service issues for almost a decade. The GEnx will operate with 18 fan blades (50 percent fewer than the CF6) at noise levels lower than any large GE commercial engine. The GEnx also features a new combustor for efficient fuel mixing before ignition, resulting in significantly lower NOx levels.
The GEnx is part of GE’s “”ecomagination”” product portfolio–GE’s commitment to develop new, cost-effective technologies that enhance customers’ environmental and operating performance.
The first full GEnx engine will go to test in 2006, with engine certification scheduled for 2007.
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