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Monday, October 22, 2007

GE's CF34 Engines Celebrate 15 Years of Powering Regional Jets

GE began testing its CF34-10A engine, selected to power China's ARJ21 aircraft now in development by the AVIC I Commercial Aircraft Company. The engine reached about 70 percent of take-off power. The first engine to test (FETT) for the CF34-10A started testing on schedule last week at the Peebles, Ohio, outdoor test facility.
The CF34-10A is based on the CF34-10E with approximately 80 percent common design/hardware. The advanced engine technology will not only provide the thrust capability to meet aircraft performance requirements, but will also give customers low-cost operations with a highly reliable, easily maintainable propulsion system. The ARJ21 aircraft is scheduled to roll-out in December with first flight set for first quarter 2008 and entry into service in 2009.
The test came as the company celebrated the CF34s 15th anniversary of powering regional jets. The engine ushered in a new era in aviation which has grown to a market of 3,600 CF34 engines in service, having accumulated more than 40 million engine hours.
The launch of the CF34-3 engine on the Bombardier CRJ100 aircraft in 1992 was a significant departure for commercial airline operation. The engine allowed carriers to strengthen their hub and spoke networks and enabled the growth of many regional airlines in North America and Europe, said the company.
Since 1992, GE has invested in new technology for the CF34 and developed a successful engine family to power regional jets that can carry up to 118 passengers. The CF34-8 engine is the fastest selling engine in the CF34 family. With more than 1,200 engines in service with 40 operators, the engine powers the Bombardier CRJ700 and CRJ900 aircraft as well as the Embraer ERJ 170 and 175 aircraft.
Earlier this year, GE announced the new CF34-8C5A2 engine would be offered on the new Bombardier CRJ1000 regional jet. The new engine derivative will be rated at the same 14,510 pounds of thrust as the original CF34-8C5, but with a greater thrust capability at takeoff. The engine will include software modifications to the engine control to provide additional thrust, as well as an upgraded high-pressure turbine (HPT) for greater durability. The HPT advances will become standard production hardware for the CF34-8 family of regional jet engines. Engine certification for the CF34-8C5A2 is targeted for early 2009.
The CF34-10E engine that powers the Embraer ERJ190 and 195 entered service in 2005 and has more than 200 engines in service with 11 operators. The engine has the highest thrust rating for the CF34 family with 20,000 lbs. of thrust and includes many advanced technologies, including a single stage high-pressure turbine, advanced wide chord fan blades, advanced 3-D aero compressor and turbine airfoils and chevron exhaust nozzles.
GE continues to invest in the CF34 engine and has introduced several technology upgrades. The CF34-3A1 engine has an upgrade that converts it to a CF34-3B1 engine and offers customers improved fuel burn and climb thrust capability. The CF34-3B1 engine upgrades include advanced material and coatings on the high pressure turbine blade, nozzles and shrouds for improved durability and longer time on wing. An upgrade for the CF34-8C1 fleet infuses advanced technology and improved durability components from the -8C5 engine into the existing engines to create a common engine for the CRJ700 and CRJ900 aircraft.
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