GE Aviation has started the 18-month certification program for the GE9X engine that will exclusively power the Boeing 777X.

The first round of certification tests will take place in Peebles, Ohio. The certification testing is beginning on the second GE9X engine GE has built; ultimately, there will be eight certification test engines. The next two GE9X engines are currently being built. One of those two engines will be tested in flight on GE’s 747 flying testbed based in Victorville, California, in the second half of 2017.

GE aims to complete the certification program by the end of 2018. The 777X is slated to enter service in 2020.

The start of the certification program follows more than a year of testing with the GE9X first engine to test (FETT).

“Historically, the first engine to test is not separated by the second engine by a year-plus,” GE9X program general manager Ted Ingling told ATW. “That was by intent that we moved that first engine forward to allow us as a design team to validate the architecture of this new engine, learn, and adapt those learnings into the certification baseline.”

Aaron Karp aaron.karp@penton.com