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Originally published June 16, 2010 at 6:19 PM | Page modified June 16, 2010 at 9:06 PM

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Boeing flies first Dreamliner to use GE engine

Boeing on Wednesday flew its fifth 787 Dreamliner, the first powered with GE engines instead of the Rolls-Royce engines installed on the previous airplanes.

Boeing on Wednesday flew its fifth 787 Dreamliner, the first powered with GE engines instead of the Rolls-Royce engines installed on the previous airplanes.

To meet the Dreamliner goal of a 20 percent boost in overall fuel efficiency compared to current jets, Boeing is counting on the 787 engines to contribute about 8 percent toward that improvement.

At Paine Field in Everett for the first flight, Tom Brisken, general manager of the GEnx engine program, expressed confidence that his engines will reach that goal.

Brisken said that while the engines on the first Dreamliners don't yet meet that 8 percent specification, a redesign of the low-pressure turbine to be incorporated in engines delivered from the middle of next year will leave the engines "very close to spec."

Brisken said a planned second upgrade should improve the engine core by late 2012 and will leave the GEnx engines "better than spec."

The first GE-powered 787 is due to be delivered early next year to Royal Air Maroc.

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