Designing, building and ground testing the world’s largest turbofan may seem challenging enough, but how do you safely put such a behemoth through the rigors of flight testing on the wing of an aircraft for which it was not designed? That is the key question General Electric and Boeing engineers face as they wrestle with the mechanics of flying the GE9X engine for the 777X on GE’s 747-400 flying testbed in 2017. Although rated at 105,000 lb. thrust, or around 10,000 lb. less ...

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