Have you ever wondered if an Iditarod trained Husky and airplane engine have anything in common? Well, they just might. General Electric is currently putting their engines to the cold test.
Last February, GE established the Engine Testing, Research and Development Centre (TRDC), a $50 million facility in Winnipeg, Manitoba (YWG). With recent updates, this allows engines to be tested year-round. At this 122,000 sq. ft. facility, the newest GE jet engines, including but not limited to the GEnx family, are pushed to their max. They undergo rigorous trials in extreme winter conditions. While it may be 30°F outside, these engines are able to be tested at a blade chilling -8°F. How’s that for cold blooded?
American Airline’s sixth Boeing 777-300ER, sitting at Boeing Field. Photo by Brandon Farris.
I recently had the opportunity to hang out with American Airlines while the carrier and Boeing enjoyed some festivities prior to the airline taking delivery of its sixth 777-300ER (77W) on April 11th.
Everything began early in the morning with a short drive from the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Seattle to Renton, home of the Boeing 737 final assembly lines. Although we were set to fly the 777, American had recently placed a large order for the 737 NG and MAX.
Computer mock up of what Alaska Airline’s Boeing 737 MAX will look like. Check out those winglets. Image from Boeing.
Alaska Airlines has confirmed an order for 50 new Boeing 737s, worth more than $5billion, at list prices. The order was for 20 737 MAX 8s, 17 MAX 9s and 13 737-900ER.
“This order positions us for growth and ensures that we’ll continue to operate the quietest and most fuel-efficient aircraft available for the foreseeable future. That means our customers will continue to enjoy a comfortable in-flight experience, low fares and excellent on-time performance,” Alaska Airlines President and CEO Brad Tilden said. “We value our longstanding relationship with Boeing and look forward to painting ‘Proudly All Boeing’ on the nose of our aircraft for many, many years into the future.”
The aircraft are slated to begin deliveries in 2015, with the first 737 MAX 8 expected to enter service in 2018, with the MAX 9 joining in 2019.
This historical order was announced yesterday at Alaska’s yearly meeting. Alaska posted a video showing the announcement, which also highlights the new Boeing Sky Interior (seen below).
Although the announcement is huge, it is not a huge surprise that Alaska would continue with their strong relationship with Boeing and look to replace their fleet of older Boeing 737-400s.
What United’s Boeing 737 MAX 9 will look like. Image from United.
Today in a joint press conference in Chicago, United Airlines has announced that they will order 100 Boeing 737 MAX 9 and 50 737-900ERs. The order is worth $14.7 billion.
“This order is a major step in building the world’s leading airline, and we look forward to offering our customers the modern features and reliability of new Boeing airplanes, while also making our fleet more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly,” said Jeff Smisek, United’s President and CEO. “New aircraft deliveries support our flexible fleet plan, permitting us to tailor future capacity up or down, based on changes in demand or other market conditions.”
This order is huge. Although United got rid of its last Boeing 737 before the recent merger with Continental, the new (post-merger) United has a large fleet of both Boeing 737s and Airbus A320s. The fact that they have operated both aircraft and have chosen the 737. United stated that they had intensive discussions with both Boeing and Airbus about which aircraft to go with and chose to go with the 737.
Since July 5th, Boeing has received 243 orders for the 737 MAX and NG (Next Generation), not counting the new order announced today. Over all, Boeing has more than 1200 orders and commitments from 18 customers for the MAX.
VIDEO: B-roll material of the United Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 9
GALLERY: United Airlines Boeing 737-900ER and 737 MAX 9