This additional order from Continental doubles the airlines' Boeing 787 fleet to 20 aircraft, all powered by GEnx engines. Continental is the first US-based airline to select the GEnx engine for its 787 fleet. Aircraft deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2009.
A leading operator of GE jet engines, Continental flies more than 300 aircraft powered by GE and CFM56 engines. Continental was also one of the first operators of GE90-powered 777 aircraft. The airline's fleet includes 767s powered by GE's CF6-80C2 engines and 737s powered by CFM56 engines.
Testing began earlier this year on the GEnx engine. Engine certification is scheduled for 2007.
The GEnx is based on GE90 architecture. It will succeed GE's CF6 engine family, which GE says is the most reliable and best-selling engine on wide-body aircraft.
The GEnx engine is the world's only jet engine with a front fan case and fan blades made of composites, which provide for greater engine durability, weight reduction and lower operating costs.
The fan blades will utilize GE90 composite technology that has performed well, with no routine on-wing maintenance required and no in-service issue for more than a decade. The GEnx will operate with 18 fan blades (50 percent fewer than the CF6) at noise levels lower than any large GE commercial engine. The GEnx also features a new combustor for efficient fuel mixing before ignition, resulting in significantly lower oxides of nitrogen (Nox) levels.