GE Reports $200 Billion In Jet Engine Backlog, Largest In Company History


  Bookmark and Share

GE Reports $200 Billion In Jet Engine Backlog, Largest In Company History

By Shane Nolan

January 23, 2012 - General Electric reported fourth quarter financial results and one number that jumped out was the staggering size of the company’s backlog, $200 billion in orders and commitments, the largest in GE history. 

What are some of the products in high demand? Start with GE Aviation. The world’s largest and most powerful commercial jet engine, GE90, has had its most successful year in 2011. Airlines and freighter operators ordered 400 of the engines valued at $11 billion (list price). 

“The Boeing 777 and GE90 engine combination is growing in popularity with customers worldwide and is the best-selling aircraft-engine combination in its class,” said Bill Millhaem, general manager of the GE90 Program at GE Aviation. “Total orders for the GE90 engine family now exceed 2,000 engines with a backlog of 800 engines that will be delivered in the next four years.”

The 200 aircraft commitments announced in 2001 are for GE90-powered Boeing 777-300ERs and Freighters. The production rate for the GE90 is growing, with plans to produce more than 180 GE90 engines in 2012 up from 170 engines in 2011. The production rate is expected to climb to 225 engines in 2014.  

General Electric GE90 is a family of high-bypass turbofan aircraft engines built by GE Aviation for the Boeing 777, with thrust ratings ranging from 74,000 to 115,000 Pound (force) (329 to 512 kN). It was first introduced in November 1995 on British Airways' 777s, and is available only on the 777. The engine is one of three options for the 777-200, -200ER, and -300, and the exclusive engine of the -200LR, -300ER, and -200F. 

The GE90 was launched in 1990 by GE Aviation associated with Snecma (France), IHI (Japan) and Avio (Italy). Developed from the 1970s NASA Energy Efficient Engine, the 10-stage high pressure compressor develops a pressure ratio of 23:1 (an industry record) and is driven by a 2-stage, air-cooled, HP turbine. A 3-stage intermediate pressure compressor, situated directly behind the fan, supercharges the core. The fan/IPC is driven by a 6-stage low pressure turbine. 

The higher thrust variants, GE90-110B1 and -115B, have a different architecture from the earlier marks of GE90, with one stage removed from the HP compressor (probably from the rear, to increase core size), with an extra stage added to the IP compressor to maintain/increase overall pressure ratio to achieve a net increase in core flow.


The engine’s French-American cousins, the CFM56 and LEAP engines, also had a record year. CFM International, a joint company between GE Aviation and France’s Snecma, received orders and commitments for more than 2,900 CFM56 and LEAP engines valued at $30 billion. There is a good reason for the ecomagination-qualified LEAP to be popular. The engine can achieve double-digit improvements in fuel burn and emissions, and lower maintenance costs. The total GE Aviation backlog stood at $99 billion in equipment and services at the end of 2011. 

The CFM International CFM56 (U.S. military designation F108) series is a family of high-bypass turbofan aircraft engines made by CFM International (CFMI), with a thrust range of 18,000 to 34,000 pounds-force (80 to 150 kilonewtons). CFMI is a 50–50 joint-owned company of SNECMA, France and GE Aviation (GE), USA. Both companies are responsible for producing components and each has its own final assembly line.

GE produces the high-pressure compressor, combustor, and high-pressure turbine, and SNECMA manufactures the fan, low-pressure turbine, gearbox, and exhaust. The engines are assembled by GE in Evendale, Ohio, and by SNECMA in Villaroche, France. The completed engines are marketed by CFMI. 

The CFM56 first ran in 1974 and, despite initial political problems, is now one of the most common turbofan aircraft engines in the world, with more than 20,000 having been built in four major variants. It is most widely used on the Boeing 737 airliner and, under military designation F108, replaced the Pratt & Whitney JT3D engines on many KC-135 Stratotankers in the 1980s, creating the KC-135R variant of this aircraft. It is also the only engine (CFM56-5C) used to power the Airbus A340-200 and 300 series. The engine (CFM56-5A and 5B) is also fitted to Airbus A320 series aircraft.

Several fan blade failure incidents were experienced during the CFM56's early service, including one failure that was noted as a cause of the Kegworth air disaster, while some variants of the engine experienced problems caused by flight through rain and hail. However, both these issues were resolved with engine modifications. By January 2010, the CFM56 had flown more than 470 million cumulative hours (the equivalent of more than 53,000 years).

Other News Stories
(For the latest news please checkout our home page)


blog comments powered by Disqus  
Home Aviation News Aviation Stories Of Interest FAA Exam Upcoming Events Links To Other Sites General Aviation Helicopters Medical Factors Facing Pilots
Maintenance and Aircraft Mechanics Hot Air Balloon Aviation Training Handbooks Read Online Aviation History Legal Issues In Aviation Sea Planes Editorials
 ©AvStop Online Magazine                                                                 Contact Us                                                  Return To News                                          Bookmark and Share


AvStop Aviation News and Resource Online Magazine

Grab this Headline Animator