Qatar Airways recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with General Electric for the GEnx engine to power the airline’s new fleet 60 Airbus A350 aircraft.
The GEnx order from Qatar Airways is valued at more than $1.6 billion, and represents the largest single order for GE’s newest engine under development. Deliveries of Qatar Airways’ new A350 fleet, a combination of A350-800 and A350-900 aircraft, begin in 2010.
GE says the GEnx, based on the architecture of the GE90, is the next-generation of engine technology to succeed the CF6. Compared to the CF6 family, the GEnx will improve specific fuel consumption by 15 percent.
The GEnx is the world’s only jet engine with a front fan case and fan blades made of composites for greater durability and weight reduction. It will operate with 18 fan blades (50 percent fewer than the CF6) at noise levels lower than any large GE commercial engine. The GEnx features a new combustor for fuel mixing before ignition, resulting in lower NOx levels. The first full GEnx engine will go to test in 2006, with engine certification scheduled for 2007.