New GE jet engines must pass a litany of hardships on the test stand — from bird strikes to hailstorms — before they get to take to the air.
But even then they are not finished. One of the steps required to win FAA certification actually looks like fun — though the engines might object. It involves flights on GE’s Flying Test Beds.
GE has two of them, each one a converted Boeing 747 packed with computers, electronics and other gear. The newer one, which GE acquired in 2011, can safely climb as high as 45,000 feet, some 5,000 feet above maximum cruising altitude.
Earlier this year, when GE was testing LEAP and Passport engines, the engineers invited a photographer in a separate plane to join them for test flights over California’s Sierra Nevada. Take a look at the haul he brought back.
Filed Under: Aerospace + defense