Aviation has always been a personal favorite topic of mine. Despite the industry’s role as a leading CO2 emitter, airlines, aircraft manufacturers, fuel researchers, and the makers of engines have been bending over backwards to squeeze every drop of efficiency they can out of their respective areas of influence. From advanced algae biofuels to reductions in aircraft weight, these represent commendable and ultimately profitable efforts. Engine design is every bit as important as the rest, and GE’s new “GEnx” engine is generating some windy excitement this week in New York as part of “Creative Week.”
The engine – in the process of being deployed on Boeing’s new 787 & 747-8 aircraft—is said to be the “world’s most powerful jet engine.” It will offer a 15 percent reduction in CO2 emissions over comparable engines and significant weight reduction resulting in yet more fuel savings, as well as being the quietest engine GE has ever made. It’s also the best selling engine GE’s every built – a testament to the need for fuel savings among airlines. That’s easy to appreciate to an aviation fan like me (see technical specs after the jump), but what does it take to get the general public excited about jet engines?
Enter the Hologram.
GE would be remiss to not do something clever during one of New York’s biggest annual gatherings of creative folks. Their Throttle Up presentation is a huge holographic interface that invites people to virtually “step inside” the new GEnx engine to get an ant’s eye view of the intricate engineering that makes it tick. It’s an impressive ‘gee whiz’ celebration that’s as much about the engine as it is about the presentation. That’s part of the point. Getting not only the general public, but designers, engineers and tinkerers excited about advanced technology that may not be obvious on the surface is a big challenge. Getting them excited about fuel efficiency and the other environmental benefits of a jet engine is even trickier. Nonetheless but by the looks of it, GE has managed to spark interest across a wide spectrum of people.
For a sneak peak, here’s a quick video from Creativity-Online:
Are you in New York?
Check it out in person all this week in DUMBO at 56 Water Street.
Ed note: This post is part of an ongoing sponsorship by GE.