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GE90 Design Team, GE Aircraft Engines. Jet Engine Fan Blade (model GE90-115B). 2001

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GE90 Design Team, GE Aircraft Engines (American, founded 1942)

Jet Engine Fan Blade (model GE90-115B)

Manufacturer:
CFAN
Date:
2001
Medium:
Composite fiber resin, polyurethane coating and titanium
Dimensions:
48 x 23 x 17" (121.9 x 58.4 x 43.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of the manufacturer
MoMA Number:
496.2004

The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA Highlights since 1980, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2007, p. 175

Recent advances in materials technology, manufacturing processes, and analytical supercomputing have facilitated the creation of jet-engine fan blades that are significantly stronger, tougher, and quieter than previous iterations. This single fan blade comes from the GE90-115B, one of the largest and most powerful jet engines in the world. The engine contains twenty-two fan blades, each of which is four feet long and weighs less than fifty pounds.

Composite technology has allowed GE to design a uniquely formed curved blade that is lighter, more aerodynamic, and larger than traditional titanium blades. The GE90-115B blade is made of carbon fiber and a toughened epoxy matrix, a composite material that is extremely flexible yet highly resistant to impact. Designed using three-dimensional aerospace computer modeling technology, the blade is able to draw a massive amount of air into the engine while operating at a low noise level. The GE90-115B fan blade is a powerful fusion of cutting-edge engineering and design, and its astonishingly beautiful undulating form is a pure expression of its aerodynamic function. Its inclusion in MoMA's collection continues a tradition started in 1934 with the exhibition Machine Art, in which advanced airplane propellers were shown together with coils, ball bearings, and other machine parts of equally honest beauty.

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