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Incredible footage has revealed the moment that the world’s biggest jet engine took to the skies for the first time, ahead of its planned maiden commercial flight in 2020.
The huge GE9X powerplant, which is as wide and tall as the fuselage of a Boeing 737, is being built for the latest version of the firm’s long-haul 777, the 777X ‘megaplane’.
General Electric has now begun flight trials of the prototype, after delays caused by technical problems stopped tests originally planned for late last year.
A special Boeing 747 test aircraft flew from Victorville, California, for four hours with the new GE9X engine mounted under its left wing, dwarfing the plane’s three other engines.
The flight marks the beginning of a test campaign scheduled to last several months, before the aircraft itself takes to the skies under its own power in the first quarter of next year.