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Safran Nacelles’ Boeing's 777X jet engine exhaust system is put through its paces

GE Aviation’s 747 testbed aircraft
GE Aviation's 747 testbed takes off with the GE9X turbofan powerplant, incorporating Safran Nacelles' engine exhaust system.

March 15, 2018

The largest engine exhaust system of its type for civil aircraft has made its first flight, as this Safran Nacelles-produced component for Boeing's 777X jetliner begins testing on the GE Aviation GE9X turbofan powerplant.

This exhaust system is a complex-shaped unit that contributes to the proper aerodynamic flow of exhaust from the GE9X.  Composed primarily of titanium, it incorporates an acoustically-treated area for reduced engine noise levels.

Design and production of the exhaust system benefits from Safran Nacelles' expertise in metallic manufacturing processes for engine nozzles, as well as its – and Boeing's – methods to assess the performance of titanium components in such high-temperature applications. As a result, the exhaust system offers dual advantages of being lighter and with a greater resistance to heat.

Airborne evaluations of the GE9X began this week in the United States on GE Aviation's 747 flying testbed from California's Victorville Airport, with a test powerplant installed on the left-hand wing's inboard engine pylon. According to GE, the initial flight test in March validated the GE9X's key operational and functional characteristics, enabling the test campaign to continue in subsequent flights.

GE Aviation has nearly 700 GE9X engines on order, with certification of the 100,000-pound thrust-class engine expected in 2019.

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