MIAMI – General Electric (GE) Aviation and Etihad Airways (EY) have joined forces to deliver to the market the innovative GE 360 Foam Wash. The Jet Engine Cleaning system is set to improve the efficiency of EY’s Boeing 777 GE90 and 787 GEnx-1B powered aircraft.

General Electric is teaming up with EY as a launch partner for the Greenliner program to innovate, build and validate decarbonization innovations. GE has approved EY to use the proprietary 360 Foam Wash system on its GE90 and GEnx-1B engines. The approval granted a technical license that enables EY to conduct a complete engine foam wash on its Boeing 777 and 787 fleet.

During technology trials with GE90 and GEnx, this proven solution boosted engine output. It also helps reduce engine’s depositions that lead to lowering exhaust gas temperatures and enhancement of compressor power. In turn, these changes result in lower fuel consumption and an increase in engine on-wing serviceability.

two-men-demonstrating-foam-wash. Photo: Etihad Airways

Foam vs Water

GE’s 360 Foam Wash is an alternative approach to cleaning engines using water. This method restores engine efficiency that contributes to fuel consumption reductions. The procedure requires the injection of a specially formulated solvent that extracts soil and dirt from the engine. This machine can be used either inside or outside maintenance hangars.

The collaboration of EY in the test process was essential to the production of the equipment. That is to say, EY helped GE to gather and analyze data in order to improve the reliability of the 360 Foam Wash equipment.

EY was one of the first airlines to collaborate with GE in the production of 360 Foam Wash. Moreover, the carrier is the first airline to trial GE’s Foam Wash on GE90 engine while installed. In addition, the company received a GE90 Foam Wash license as well as multiple engine programs (GE90 and GEnx) license.

Jean Lydon-Rodgers, Vice President and General Manager of GE Aviation’s Aftermarket Strategic Solutions commented as cited in a press release by GE Aviation. Lydon-rodgers said: “GE Aviation shares a commitment to develop innovative solutions in aircraft engine maintenance with the team at Etihad Airways.” 

She added: “We are learning more about how our engines operate and how they respond in hot and harsh environments than ever before, and our longstanding relationship with Etihad has been integral to that process.” She emphasized: “The research that has gone into producing GE’s 360 Foam Wash is a shining example of that.”

Etihad Airways A6-ETR Boeing 777-3FX(ER). Photo: Luca FLores/Airways

Sustainability Inspirations

Per EY’s website, the company pursues an inspiration from the words of His Highness, Sheik Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan: “On land and in the sea, our ancestors lived and lived in this setting. They were able to do it because they understood the need to conserve it. To take only just what they wanted to survive, and to preserve it for the years to come.”

To apply these inspirations in practice, EY committed itself to three areas. Firstly is to reach a net-zero CO2 target by 2050. Secondly, reducing usage of non-recyclable plastic and the less aviation-related target, to eliminate illegal trade of wild animals. In addition to those areas, EY’s Greenliner and Ecodemonstrator initiatives aim to a greener aviation future for the company.

Paul Kear, Senior Vice President Technical, Etihad Airways, said, “Etihad’s long-term commitment to net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050 can only be achieved by working with partners across the industry to harness innovation and develop new technologies that will provide real, incremental benefits with a measurable impact on emissions.” 

Kear added, “As we look towards the rest of 2021, there is potential to expand the scope of collaboration for our shared sustainability objectives.”

Etihad Airways Boeing 787-10 “Greenliner”. Photo: Etihad Airways

Etihad’s Dreamliner as Greenliner

The Greenliner Program is an exciting aspect of EY’s sustainability policy. Using specially-themed Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the airline is set to test new green technology. For example, it will use sustainable alternative fuels (SAF) and environmentally friendly in-flight products. With a ‘climate partnership,’ the program intends to minimize carbon emissions from aircraft on its Boeing 787 fleet.

Kear also added, “Our partnership with GE through the Etihad Greenliner program is a prime example of industry collaboration that will have a significant impact on Etihad’s efficiencies and provide a case study for the broader industry. By 2021 alone, we expect to realize significant fuel savings and a reduction of more than 7,000 metric tonnes of CO2 for the combined GEnx-1B and GE90 engine fleets, compared to water wash methods. 

Kear added, “This is just one example of how Etihad and GE can work together to enhance fuel efficiency of the engines that power the backbone of our fleet.”

Boeing-Etihad ecoDemonstrator


Etihad’s’ commitment to making the future of flying more prosperous has lead the company to an expanded relationship with Boeing taking part in the 2020 eco-demonstrator project. The program—almost ten years old, is testing out new technology and groundbreaking aviation sustainability projects.

The ecoDemonstrator initiative uses commercial aircraft as flying testbeds to accelerate scientific advances and enhance the whole aviation environment. It ranges from cabins and landing gears to CO2 emissions and aircraft noise. ​

The 2020 initiative is the first to use a Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner to expand on the strategic relationship with Boeing. For EY, this builds on its Greenliner initiative, which introduces validated technology to the operating climate.

Featured image: Etihad A6-ETH Boeing 777-3FXER. Photo: Andrew Henderson/Airways