The first five Boeing 747-8 VIP customers are set to benefit from a new initiative from GE named the “GE Pusher Program“.
The GE Pusher Program provides loaned General Electric GEnx-2B engines to the aircraft customer for the ferry flight to the aircraft completions centre, to be removed and shipped back to Boeing.
These returned engines are later to be replaced by the latest technology incorporated in production GE engines in circa 24 – 36 months from the ferry flight to completion centre. The service entry date is depending on the complexity of the VIP aircraft interior design which largely determines aircraft downtime.
It is expected that [General Electric] engine supplier and Boeing [the aircraft manufacturer] will extend this arrangement to other VIP models in future.
The ferry flight engines are believed to be sourced from Boeing’s test flight fleet and/or their lease pool.
This initiative will save time for the completions centre that would normally need to consider part-145 maintenance due to aircraft downtime within the completion programme; removing the maintenance cost and time impacts which benefit both the completions centre and the customer in different ways. The customer will receive the latest, low fuel burn efficient engines for installation to their 747-8 VIP aircraft just prior to aircraft completion.
In addition to this news, Boeing is reported to have a significant number of aircraft destined for VIP completions either currently in production or planned for production which include models: 737, 747-8 and the 787 Dreamliner.