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GE has completed its first flight test of the world’s largest jet engine

  • General Electric's Aviation division has put its new GE9X engine into the sky for the first time.
  • GE is building the GE9X for Boeing's new 777x long-haul airplane.
  • The engine will be the largest commercial jet engine available.

General Electric has conducted its first flight test of the world's largest-ever jet engine.

The GE9X engine lifted off Wednesday, under the wing of GE Aviation's Boeing 747 flying test-bed in Victorville, California.

The test had been delayed from February after engineers discovered a design issue with the turbofan. GE described the issue as minor and that it would not delay the program.

The engine has approximately the same diameter as the fuselage of a Boeing 737 and houses a 134-inch-diameter front fan, that GE has claimed to be the largest of any commercial engine in production.

In a press release, Ted Ingling, the general manager of the GE9X program, said the test flight was "picture perfect," adding that final engine certification is expected in 2019.

GE is building the GE9X for Boeing's new 777x long-haul airplane, due to take to the skies in 2020. Almost 700 GE9X engines are already on order.

A model of Boeing's 777X aircraft.
Duncan Chard | Bloomberg | Getty Images
A model of Boeing's 777X aircraft.

GE has said that the 100,000-pound thrust engine will be the most fuel-efficient the company has ever produced and 5 percent more economical than any twin-aisle engine on the market.

On a per-pounds-of-thrust basis, the firm has also described the engine as the quietest it has ever built.

GE's partners on the GE9X include France's Safran, Japan's IHI Corp, and Germany's MTU Aero Engines.