DR Smith Foto
Etihad Boeing 777-300(ER) arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport on an astounding Saturday afternoon 2019 - Photo by Robson Smith
Etihad Boeing 777-300(ER) arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) from Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) on an astounding Saturday afternoon 2019. Etihad, the airline pictured which acts as the national flag carrier of the United Arab Emirates, operates a 777 fleet of 19 aircraft, with each capable of carrying 412 passengers and flying a range of some 15,900 km (9,880 miles). Etihad's fleet is further supplemented by a cargo fleet of six 777-F freighters, each with a reduced range of 9,000 km (5,590 miles) but the capacity to carry in excess of a whopping 100,000 kg (220,000 lbs) of cargo. Powered by General Electric's superlative GE90 engines (specifically, the -115b model), Etihad's 777-300(ER)s and 777 freighters are at the helm of some of the most advanced pieces of hardware available to the aviation industry. At the time of their release in 2009, the GE90-115bs were proposed-designed to fly the 777-300ER and boasted the highest thrust capabilities on the market. Moreover, these remarkable feats of engineering had the distinction of being one of the quietest in their class per pound of thrust with superior fuel efficiency and lower overall emissions compared to previous designs. Although the above specs of the GE90-115b engine are dated by a decade, some or all may still stand today, denoting its impressive ahead-of-the-game engineering. Also in 2009, the engines reached over two million flight hours, a testament to their phenomenal and proven capabilities. Note, while the 777s fuselage is 620 cm (244 inches) wide, the GE90-115b is some 340 cm (128 in) in width — equating to over half the diameter of the aircraft it serves! However, the engine doesn't halt here; the nacelles, or aerodynamic coverings, for the power unit brings the total diameter to an astounding 420 cm (166 inches), augmenting the footprint to about three quarters of the diameter of the 777's fuselage. Unsurprisingly, this engine holds the title as the largest in history, only to be superseded by GE's future successor and derivative, the GE9X. In fact, the engine is so large that, unless the large fan blade is removed, it cannot fit into a 747 freighter, one of the largest aircraft in its class. Historically, GE's outstanding hardware has broken numerous records and has accomplished extraordinary feats. The engine is rated for 115,000 lbf (pounds of force), allow it to power a Boeing 747-100 in actual flight for three hours (test!). It also held the record for the highest thrust ever recorded for a commercial engine at 127,000 lbf, only marginally surpassed by the GE9X in 2017. However, all of this means nothing is not safe. IFSD (in-flight-shutdown-rate) is a mere one in one million flight hours, of which the GE90 series has accumulated more than 50 million, with over eight million on-off cycles in its twenty years of history. Now, that's engineering in flight, Enjoy!
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