Propulsion Flight Testing on General Electric's B747 Flying Test Bed 2000-01-5523
General Electric Aircraft Engines Flight Test Operations (FTO), currently located at the Mojave Airport in Mojave California, has been the GE Aircraft Engines commercial flight test center for over 30 years. Early flight testing was conducted at Edwards Air Force Base. During this period GE has utilized several different aircraft as flying test beds for the primary purpose of propulsion development including; Saberliner 75A/80 (certification program), Grumman G1, Boeing 707, Airbus A300, Boeing 727, MD-80, Lear 24 and the current Boeing 747-100. Since 1994 General Electric's primary commercial engine test aircraft has been the B747 Flying Test Bed (FTB).
Originally the B747 FTB was conceived as a platform to conduct in-flight development of the GE90, this later evolved to include the CFM56-7 and CF34-8C engines with future work planned for all of these engine families and more. Derivitive & product improvement as well as new engine development.