Hi, I’m Jon Ohman. Chief test pilot at GE Aviation, here at our Victorville flight test facility — and welcome to day four. Today I’m taking over all our social media channels to show you how we test our jet engines on our 747 flying testbed. My love for aviation came from my dad, he passed it on to me. And after serving as a pilot in the Marine Corps, that passion for aviation led me to here at GE. For me it’s always been about the people and the mission. And the mission of the team here is to ensure air travel is as safe as possible. But before we go up there, we have to spend a lot of time down here. Right here in the office. Before we do a test flight, we spend a lot of time here doing pre-flight planning, and a series of reviews to make sure everything we do is safe. Kind of like a pre-flight checklist. Let’s meet some of the team and see how it’s going. Hey Nate. Morning Jon! How’s the prep going for the next GE9X test campaign? Great! You mind talking us through the process a little bit? Of course, so one of the first step is we have what’s called a Flight Readiness review Where we get the entire team together, and walk through the plan that’s gonna take us to first flight. Next, we plan all the test cards with the engineering team. Then, once the engine shows up, we’re gonna integrate it to the airplane. We’re gonna test all those systems on a series of ground runs, and then we’re gonna have an aircraft safety review. Finally, we’re gonna have a pre-flight briefing with the entire test team on the morning of each flight. Alright, it looks like we’re almost ready! Thanks, Nate. No problem! Alright, now let’s see what it takes to mount one of these engines on to our 747 flying testbed. Hey Michael! Oh hey Jon! Hey, you mind telling us what we do to get this engine ready for tests? Yes, this is actually a CF6, but when we receive the 9X engine from PTO, we use an overhead crane to install it on the aircraft. Then, we will perform a high power ground run to verify we are safe and begin our flight campaign. This is a CF6 engine behind me, but the GE9X is actually way bigger. It has a fan diameter of 134 inches, that’s almost two of me. Alright, let’s go onboard the plane to check out the data console. But before we do that, we’re gonna get suited up. As you can see, this doesn’t look like
the inside of your standard 747. Instead of passenger seats, we have these rows of data collection consoles. Let’s talk to Jason and see what we do to get ready for a test flight. Hey Jason! Hey Jon! Hey, you mind telling us what we do to get ready to collect data for the test flight? Sure, what we’re doing now before the flight is doing our calibrations before we go to make sure that we’re gonna collect the most high-quality data that we can get, at up to two hundred thousand scans per second. So as you can imagine, that’s quite a lot of data. Looks like we’re almost ready for a flight. Let’s go and check out the cockpit. This is the cockpit of our 747 flying test bed. For the most part, it looks like a standard 747, but there are a few unique modifications. We use this flying testbed to test our engines in a variety of different tests. Everything from performance testing– to ensure that we’re getting the most fuel efficiency out of the engine possible, to operability testing, where we make sure that the engine can start under all kinds of conditions. So all of this testing is for the purpose of making sure that our engines are working normally, and safely for our customers. And that’s how we test the GE9X on our flying testbed. Thanks for joining us this week, I hope you enjoyed it.