October 21, 2013
By Alton K. Marsh
GE Aviation has figured out a way to address a top concern of aircraft operators, especially those flying high-priced jets: fuel efficiency and durability. Both save the owner money. The new Passport engine used in the Bombardier Global 7000 and 8000 uses ceramic material and a unique blade surface that lasts longer.
"The Passport engine will be the first non-military engine to use Oxide-Oxide (Ox-Ox) ceramic matrix composite material and the first GE business aviation engine to feature super finish. These features will provide significant advantages to our customers," said Brad Mottier, vice president and general manager.
GE began development of Ox-Ox in the late 1980s and first used it in 2011. It will be used in the exhaust, center body, and core cowls. The compressor blades are four times smoother than traditional blades. They allow air to pass more efficiently over the blades, resulting in lower fuel consumption.
Certification testing on the Passport engine continues in Ohio. The first engine test was June 24. Flight testing is scheduled for 2014, with certification anticipated in 2015. It will produce 16,500 pounds of thrust with 8 percent lower fuel consumption than other engines in its class.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
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