The maiden flight on January 25 of Boeing’s 777X jetliner marked a new milestone for Safran Nacelles’ development and production of the largest jet engine exhaust system of its type ever manufactured for a civil aircraft, according to the company. Produced primarily in titanium, the system has a complex nozzle shape to optimize the aerodynamic flow of exhaust from the jetliner’s engines. A portion of its surface incorporates acoustic treatment that contributes to reduced noise levels from the 777X’s high-thrust General Electric GE9X powerplants.
Safran Nacelles, based in Gonfreville l'Orcher, France, has provided all of the exhaust system’s developmental units – including those equipping the No. 1 twin-engine 777X (a 777-9 version) that began flight testing on January 25 from Paine Field in Everett, Wash., along with the first shipset to be incorporated on the initial jetliner to be received by an airline customer.
Additionally, initial spare parts are now with Boeing Global Services (the aircraft manufacturer's services and support organization), and all engineering reports for airworthiness certification were delivered by Safran Nacelles on time.
The 777X exhaust system represents the first major role for Safran Nacelles as a Boeing supplier. Safran Nacelles optimized the 777X exhaust system's design and manufacturing processes, applying its assessment methods for the performance of titanium components in the nozzle's high-temperature environment.
“Throughout the 777X program, Safran Nacelles has developed a strong and valued relationship with Boeing, and our company is fully committed to supporting the production as we ramp up our output to meet the airliner's delivery pace,” said Loïc Guillemin, Safran Nacelles' director of Boeing programs. He is based in Washington state, home to the 777X final assembly line at Everett.
The 777X's exhaust system is a large, two-piece center body and nozzle that benefits from the lower mass of titanium, as well as the metal’s increased resistance to heat in high-temperature jet engine applications. An important characteristic of the exhaust system is its unlimited lifetime, enabling the system to be used throughout the operational service of the 777X jetliner on which it is installed.
Safran Nacelles produces the 777X exhaust system at the company's Le Havre, France industrial facility, where it has expanded the production resources and enhanced the acceptance area for its product line of large exhaust nozzles used on airliners.
As the largest version of Boeing's 777 widebody aircraft family, featuring an enhanced travel experience and a reduced carbon footprint, the 777X has a maximum seating capacity of 400-plus passengers. To date, Boeing has announced more than 340 orders for the 777X.