The GE4 was the world’s first large commercial jet engine with an afterburner, designed to power the first American supersonic commercial plane, Boeing 2027.
GE designed the engine to operate at Mach 2.7 cruise speeds at 60,000 to 70,000 feet with 60000 pounds thrust level.
This massive turbojet, stretching 27 feet long, today, collects dust along a wall of old experimental engines in GE Aviation’s storied Building 700 factory in Evendale, Ohio.
The engine which was developed in 1967, to power the America’s first commercial supersonic transport (SST).
The four-engine Boeing 2027 was designed to carry 350 people at 1,800 miles per hour. Boeing forecasted the aircraft’s entry into service by the 1970s and a 700-aircraft production run by 1990.
But the program never materialised, even though, GE and Boeing were able to keep the SST program going until March 1971, when Congress killed it.
“We had a damn good engine for the SST, and I was always unhappy that we didn’t have the opportunity to use it,” wrote the late GE Vice Chairman Jack Parker in his memoirs.
However, that didn’t stop GE and it went on to sell more jet engines than any company in aviation history…