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GE Aviation prepares for growth and the next generation jet engine
GE Aviation have announced the selection of its Wales site as the GE Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility for the GE9X, the world’s largest and most fuel-efficient jet engine.
The Nantgarw overhaul facility, based just north of Cardiff, has been chosen to lead the company’s global ‘Entry into Service’ readiness programme. GE Aviation Wales was selected based on its wealth of technical expertise and its track record of continuous improvement. The site, which employs more than 1,400 people, will also benefit from a £5m investment from the Welsh Government to help towards the total £20m investment, over the next 5 years to equip and upskill the facility to be ready to maintain the GE9X fleet when it enters service on the Boeing 777X.
GE Aviation Wales Managing Director La-Chun Lindsay said: “This is a great day for Wales and particularly for our communities across the Valleys.”
“The GE9X will be the world’s largest engine and I’m incredibly proud that just as with the GE90 almost two decades ago, GE Aviation Wales has been chosen as the MRO facility. Adding the GE9X to our repertoire of engines will not only mean some £20 million of investment into our Wales site, but will also support high value manufacturing jobs.”
First Minister Carwyn Jones AM added: “I am delighted that the Welsh Government is supporting this very significant investment in one of our flagship operations. GE Aviation Wales is one of the largest aircraft engine maintenance facilities in the world, and today’s announcement ensures it will maintain its position as the global centre of excellence for wide bodied jet engines that will now also include GE’s latest engine, the GE9X.”
“As an Anchor company, GE Aviation is of huge strategic importance to the Welsh economy with a world class reputation and extensive experience and capability. It’s tremendously good news that this investment will strengthen its long-term sustainability, preserve the scale of the facility and ensure its on-going competitiveness.”
“The aviation MRO facility has been in Nantgarw for 77 years and only recently celebrated its 25th anniversary of GE ownership so it is great news that the GE9X will ensure GE Aviation Wales remains at the forefront of the engine repair and overhaul sector for many years to come.”
GE9X Jet Engine – Facts & Figures
• The GE9X can generate 100,000 pounds of thrust.
• Its front fan is 134 inches in diameter (3.35 meters), which is a world record. It has a bypass ratio of over 10:1.
• The engine includes just 16 fourth-generation carbon-fiber wide chord fan blades for improved aero efficiency.
• The GE9X offers 10% better fuel burn than the GE90.
• The engine has 3D printed fuel nozzles.
• The combustor and the turbine shrouds and nozzles incorporate lightweight and ultra-heat-resistant materials called ceramic matrix composites (CMCs).
• CMCs can operate at temperatures of up to 2,400 degrees Fahrenheit and are lighter and require less cooling flow than conventional high-temperature metals.
GE Aviation Wales
GE Aviation Wales specialises in the maintenance, repair and overhaul of a range of commercial jet engines. The facility, based in Nantgarw, just north of Cardiff, occupies over 1.2 million square foot of workshop space and has two state-of-the-art engine test facilities. They have over 1,400 employees including ~70 Apprentices and ~40 Interns, making it the 2nd largest company in Wales and the largest industrial company in Wales. It is one of the largest aircraft engine maintenance facilities in the world, the business has capabilities to handle more than 500 engines a year and works with over 90 customers worldwide.