Aviation

Is there anything better than the biggest jet engine ever made?

All commercial aircraft designed over the last 40 years are equipped with gas turbine engines. These are either turbofans or turboprops. Judging by the number of deliveries made worldwide today, the best-selling jet engine is the turbofan. And some turbofans currently hold the title of the world’s largest engine. However, competitors can take this position. Here, AeroTime investigates the largest commercial aircraft ever manufactured.

GE9X

To date, the largest commercial aircraft engine available on the market is the GE9X, manufactured by the US manufacturer General Electric.

Currently holding the Guinness World Records with the highest thrust ever recorded, the GE9X was first introduced in April 2016 and approved by the Federal Aviation Administration in September 2020. The engine was designed to power the Boeing 777X widebody aircraft. One variant, the 777-9, made its maiden flight in early 2020.

The GE9X was developed from the Boeing 777 aircraft and its predecessor, the GE90, used to power its variations such as the 777-200, 777-200ER, 777-300, 777-200LR and 777-300ER. This engine is famous for its size, with the GE9X front fan reaching a diameter of 340 centimeters and an overall diameter close to 4 meters. Compared to the GE90, the GE9X has a larger fan and a lighter construction. The largest GE90-115 models include fan diameters up to 330 cm. GE9X measurements mean that the giant engine is even wider than the Boeing 737 Classic Jet fuselage.

The GE9X is notable for its thrust capabilities. According to its manufacturer, the engine can generate 105,000 pounds of thrust for a total of 210,000 pounds. The Boeing 777X motor has reached a world record thrust of 134,300 pounds. However, some aircraft engineers have rejected the possibility of flight crews requiring such thrust to propel the jet from the ground. The ancestor GE90-115, on the other hand, can provide up to 115,540 pounds of thrust.

The GE9X is also well known for its winding carbon fiber blades that form a rotating fan. The GE9X has 16 blades and the GE90 engine has 22 blades. New technology allows the blade to be twisted slightly in the right area, this way providing additional lift when needed for the GEX9.

The engine includes both a low pressure turbine and a high pressure turbine, a core, and a compressor. However, the inside of a turbofan engine is more complicated. Inside the warmest part of the engine (high pressure turbine), temperatures can reach 2,400 degrees Celsius, which is roughly as hot as lava. To withstand these high temperatures, the engine components are made of ceramic material. General Electric estimates that the GE9X is 10% more fuel efficient than the engine that influenced its design.

But who will beat the giant?

British engineering firm Rolls-Royce has already begun building UltraFan, enthusiastically cutting-edge to win the title of the world’s largest engine, capable of defeating all competitors in the market. There is sex.

In March 2021, Rolls-Royce announced that it had begun production of the first UltraFan demonstrator UF001 at its DemoWorks facility in Derby, England. Manufacturers expect the first module, which boasts a fan diameter of 355.6 centimeters (140 inches), to be completed by the end of 2021. Rolls-Royce shows that UltraFan’s key engineering features include the new Advance 3 core. By combining the architecture with the ALEC Sys lean-burn combustion system, UltraFan can achieve maximum fuel combustion efficiency and low emissions at the same time.

Rolls-Royce focuses on gear designs that provide efficient power for future high thrust and high bypass ratio engines. During the development of UltraFan, manufacturers are also considering carbon titanium fan blades and composite casings. Fan blades reduce engine weight by up to 1,500 pounds.

However, very similar to the technology used in GE9X, Rolls-Royce uses Ceramic Matrix Composite (CMC) components. It is expected to work more effectively at high pressure turbine temperatures.

These potential UltraFan engines are expected to power both narrow-body and wide-body aircraft, resulting in a 25% improvement in fuel efficiency compared to the first-generation Trent engine family. .. The new engine runs on 100% sustainable aviation fuel.

Rolls-Royce has built a new Testbed 80 facility for testing purposes. At this facility, engineers will use real-world test data technology to check each blade. This technology collects data from over 10,000 parameters and can detect the smallest vibrations at the highest speeds. 200,000 samples per second.

Rolls-Royce was eager to launch UltraFan’s service in 2025, but due to a pandemic, the company has now changed its plans, suggesting 2030.



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