Sunday, June 3, 2012

GE 90 Turbo Failure

The GE 90 Turbo Fan engine is the world’s largest engine.  It is used on the Boeing 777 which is one size below the 747 but has only two engines.

According the GE it has been thoroughly tested against every possible issue.  Rain, Ice, Birds.  GE says it is awesome.

And yet last week one blew apart in mid air spewing hot medal parts all over the Canadian countryside. Pieces the size of cell phones landed on cars smashing windows.  Luckily nobody was hurt even though people picked up the pieces not realizing they were still hot.  

Last year it was Rolls Royce Engines blowing apart on the A380 and now it is a GE engine.  The part of the engine that blew apart is the part that should never fail.  Yet it did anyway.

“It’s kind of unusual that we’re going to be shedding parts out of this engine. So it attracts our attention right off the bat. It’s the latest generation of aircraft and engine,” said Don Enns, regional manager for the Transportation Safety Board.

“The Americans are quite interested in it as well. They built and certified the airplane,” Enns said Wednesday.

Air Canada Flight 001 had departed Pearson International Airport for Japan Monday when the pilots of the Boeing 777-333 heard a loud bang and temperatures in the number two engine spiked. The pilots dumped fuel over Lake Ontario and returned to Pearson for a safe landing. There were no injuries.

However, the massive GE-90-115B engine had dropped a trail of debris under the plane’s flight path. The blackened pieces of metal have been identified as pieces of turbine blades, Enns said.

“We’re looking at some kind of failure in the turbine section,” Enns said, referring to the rear section of the engine.

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