GE Investigating Second Failure of GEnx Jet Engine

September 17, 2012

General Electric Co said on Thursday it is investigating a second failure of a new-generation GEnx jet engine after a Boeing Co -built 747-8 freighter aircraft had to abort a takeoff in Shanghai late Tuesday.

GE spokesman Rick Kennedy said the engine, on a plane operated by Air Bridge Cargo, would be returned to the United States for inspection in the next few days.

It was the second incident involving a GEnx engine since July, when an engine on a jet being tested before delivery in Charleston, South Carolina, failed, causing a fire in grass near the runway.

Pilots on the freighter in Shanghai aborted take-off after the engine failed and no one was injured in the incident, Kennedy said. In each case, the failure was “contained,” meaning that pieces of the engine did not penetrate their enclosure and threaten the fuselage of the aircraft itself.

GE, the world’s largest maker of jet engines, had inspected all GEnx engines installed on passenger aircraft since the July incident but had not yet inspected 12 freighter aircraft, including the Air Bridge jet that experienced the failure on Tuesday.

An investigation of the South Carolina incident by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board found that a fan shaft inside the engine failed. GE said it had begun using a new coating on the shafts in question as a result of the investigation.

GE’s rivals in jet engines include United Technologies Corp and Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC.

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