General Electric gave the first public demonstration Monday of its new "unducted fan engine," a turbine engine with a propeller that is expected to reduce fuel consumption on future airliners by 40% to 70%, compared to today's ducted turbofan engines.
The new engine, dubbed the UDF, is expected to be widely used in commercial aircraft in the 1990s if current tests prove that it reduces fuel consumption and that it can be made relatively quiet.
Two other companies, Pratt & Whitney and the Allison division of General Motors, have formed a team to develop another version of such an engine. It will be tested early next year.
The GE test was the second flight of the new engine, following its successful maiden flight last week. The demonstration took place at GE's jet engine test center in Mojave.