Need a fan blade for a GE90-115B (the world’s most powerful commercial turbofan—it propels the Boeing 777)? Well, you can get one here at Oshkosh.
Not in the fly market where enthusiasts search through piles of used aircraft parts, hoping for a good bargain or that once in a lifetime find, but at Thursday evening’s celebrity fund raising auction for the EAA’s Young Eagles program.
GE Aviation is donating the carbon fiber and titanium blade, which is, after all, a work of art. The Museum of Modern Art in New York City says it is and they should know—they have one on display in their collection in Manhattan. Cincinnati Art Museum has one, too.
How much will the $80,000 blade fetch? No one knows, but at least bidders won’t be competing for a bargain against the airlines—they have no use for the blade.
That’s because fewer than 40 fan blades have been replaced in more than 16.2 million flight hours. GE will deliver the 1,000th GE90 in October; with each engine having 22 fan blades that means there are nearly 22,000 blades in service.
Only one GE90 has been rendered unserviceable by bird strikes, and only six fan blades were removed from service in the engines’ first six million flight hours.
That remarkable record means spare fan blades are scarce, so Thursday night’s winning bid might well contain a premium for rarity.