Which aircraft use General Electric’s GE90 turbofans?

Since its launch by General Electric (GE) in 1990 and entering commercial service in 1995, the GE90 engine has been in aircraft for 32 years. Designed specifically for the Boeing 777 family of aircraft, GE has continually evolved the engine with new technologies. More powerful options have since been released, with the latest variant designed for the Boeing 777X family of aircraft.


Device compatible with GE90

In November 1995, the first commercial flight powered by the GE90 was operated by British Airways from London Heathrow to Dubai. The engine model used was the GE90-94B. This engine was designed to equip the Boeing 777-200 and Boeing 777-300. Since then, more than 70 airlines have used this engine and its improved variant – GE90-115B. The GE90-94B is rated at 94,000 lb thrust, while the GE90-115B was the first engine in the 100,000 lb thrust class.

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GE designed the engine specifically for Boeing 777s, but the aircraft is compatible with other engine types. Therefore, operators have different engine options available from other manufacturers. Rolls-Royce and Pratt & Whitney are other primary Boeing 777 options. GE90 engines are capable of powering all Boeing 777 aircraft models.

Boeing 777Fs are powered exclusively by GE90 engines. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | single flight

20 years since the evolution of the GE90

The next generation GE90 was released by GE in September 2002, when the GE90-115B made its first test flight. A more powerful engine was needed for the next generation of Boeing 777 aircraft. This model has a higher thrust rating than its predecessor and was designed for longer range aircraft in the Extended Range and Long Range – Boeing 777- categories. 300ER and Boeing 777-200LR.

As mentioned earlier, GE is the sole engine supplier for these aircraft and the Boeing 777F after being selected by Boeing to produce a higher thrust engine. The GE90-115B is the exclusive powerplant for these aircraft, and the engine is rated up to 115,300 lbs of thrust. Air France, Japan Airlines, All Nippon Airways, EVA Air and several aircraft rental companies were the first airlines to order these aircraft with the new engine.

On the 25th anniversary, in 2020, of the entry into service of the GE90, Mike Kauffman, GE Aviation GE90 program manager, said at the time.

We are delighted to celebrate another milestone for the GE90 and would like to congratulate everyone involved in the success of the engine. We continue to supply these extremely reliable engines and our dedicated product support team will maintain the GE90 for many years to come, delivering maximum value throughout its life cycle.

KLM operates a fleet of Boeing 777 aircraft powered by GE90 engines. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | single flight

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32 years of service

It is believed that around 2,800 GE90 engines were produced. According to data from ch-aviation.com, there are currently 1,015 active aircraft across 60 carriers operating aircraft with GE90 engines and variants. This compares to 82 aircraft on 14 carriers running on Rolls-Royce engines and 67 aircraft on five carriers running on Pratt & Whitney engines.

GE engines primarily power the Boeing 777 and its variants. This is likely to continue with the evolution of the engine. According to Boeing, the GE9X is the “largest and most powerful commercial aircraft engine ever built.” It is designed for the new Boeing 777X family of aircraft and holds the world record, reaching 134,300 pounds of thrust.

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