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Boeing, GE work on software solution for ice buildup

Oct. 18, 2013, Chicago, Il. - Boeing and General Electric (GE) are working together on software changes that will help prevent internal ice accumulation in engines on the aircraft maker's 747 jumbo jet.


October 18, 2013
By aerospace-technology.com

The development comes after engines of four aircraft stopped working while flying at 41,000 ft. in a span of three months in 2013.

GE spokesman Rick Kennedy told Bloomberg that the proposed update to the control systems of GEnx engines will help detect and remove ice before damage occurs.

Boeing plans to receive Federal Aviation Administration approval for the solution early next year, Kennedy added.

Engine ice accumulation is the latest problem faced by Boeing's 747-8 that began operations in 2011, more than two years late.

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This aircraft, which is Boeing's most-expensive at list prices, could secure only 107 orders in its passenger and cargo variants, as airlines are shifting to four-engine aircraft.

Aircraft cruising at altitudes in tropical regions are at risk of ice buildup when travelling through weather formations where increasing moist air and decreasing cold air mix.

Work on software that controls engines of Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, which is identical the 747 jets in many ways, is already under way, Kennedy told Bloomberg.

Boeing's 747-8 passenger variant can carry over 460 passengers in three classes.

Customers for the 747-8 include Cathay Pacific Airways and Deutsche Lufthansa.