Boeing Commercial Airplanes will work with General Electric Aviation exclusively to develop the engine specifications for its forthcoming version of the 777 twin-aisle long-range jet, known as 777X. The new jet will appear at the end of this decade, according to Boeing, to replace the current version of the 777.
The terms of the arrangement, including finances, were not reported.
The Boeing 777 is a twin-engine, long-range, wide-body jet that made its debut in 1994. It is the world’s largest twin jet aircraft, and the GE90 high-bypass turbofan engine is the exclusive engine option for the extended-range and cargo versions of the current standard, 777-200ER and 777-300ER.
Other builders supply engines for different 777 variants.
For the revised models now in development for a debut by 2020, Boeing aims to increase the jets’ fuel efficiency, extend its range, and improve passengers’ comfort.
"This decision to work with GE going forward reflects the best match to the development program, schedule and airplane performance," stated Bob Feldmann, vice president and general manager for 777X development.
"We are studying airplane improvements that will extend today's 777 efficiencies and reliability for the next two decades or longer, and the engines are a significant part of that effort. Our focus is on providing the most competitive offering to our customers in the large twin aisle market."
Development work on the next version of 777 includes airlines and leasing agents that own or operate the current models. "We have had strong and productive engagement with a broad set of customers in the marketplace to understand their future needs. We are pleased with where we are in the process," Feldmann said. "We are aggressively moving forward on our plan and will continue to refine requirements with customers."