MIAMI – After thousands of flight test hours, General Electric’s GE9X has received FAA Part 33 Certification. The engines are specifically designed for the 777X model, Boeing’s latest and greatest project.

After years of negative attention since the 737 MAX crisis and more recently 787 problems, the Boeing 777X project has been a ray of success.

The GE9X mounted on the GE 747. Photo: GE Aviation

8,000+ Testbed Cycles in 2020

Since the first testbed, N779XW made its maiden voyage on January 25, 2020, she and three other testbeds have accumulated over 5,000 flight hrs in 8,000 cycles flying between Paine Field (PAE), Boeing Field (BFI), and Moses Lake (MWH). As Boeing’s newest long-range airliner, the GE9X engine is currently undergoing ETOPS (Extended Twin Operations) approval from the FAA.

The GE9X first appeared on the General Electric 747-400 testbed, N747GF, at their facilities in Victorville, best known for being an airplane retirement airport. The testbed conducted many airborne and ground tests before being put on the 777X.

Boeing’s second 777X testbed, N779XX, taxiing after a test flight. Photo: Luca Flores

Latest and Greatest

The GE9X is the largest engine ever to be put on an airliner; in fact, its diameter measures wider than a Boeing 737 fuselage. Despite being absolutely massive, noise is everything nowadays, and GE claims that these beasts are the quietest they have ever built. In terms of efficiency, the engine exceeds standards, reducing emissions by almost 30%, and cutting fuel costs approximately 10% compared to the -300ER variant of the 777, powered by General Electric GE90 engines.

This FAA certification is a huge step for Boeing and the 777X project, as it makes its way towards commercial service, slated to begin in 2022. GE Aviation CEO John Slattery is confident in the engine, saying “It takes the world’s best talent in jet propulsion to create a game-changing product like the GE9X engine. There is no substitute that can achieve the combination of size, power, and fuel efficiency of the GE9X. This engine will deliver unsurpassed value and reliability to our airline customers.”

A closer look at the GE9X engine. Photo: Luca Flores

Featured image: Boeing 777X. Photo: Luca Flores.