GE’s Big Bet on Goliath Engines

In 1990, Brian Rowe bet $2 billion on a jet engine design that would go on to influence three decades of propulsion. The GE90’s concept, architecture and technologies allowed for extraordinary gains in the aviation industry, culminating in the new GE9X engine for the Boeing 777X.

The GE9X will be the most fuel-efficient engine GE has ever produced on a per-pounds-of-thrust basis, from the 4th-generation composite fan blades which reduce the blade count to 16, to the Ceramic matrix composite (CMC) materials in the core which deliver twice the strength and greater thermal capabilities than their metal counterparts, with just a third of the weight.