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Nexcelle delivers nacelle hardware and advances the certification testing for GE’s Passport integrated propulsion system

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Nexcelle is delivering on its integrated propulsion systems (IPS) vision for business aviation, having provided the nacelle for flight tests of GE Aviation’s Passport turbofan engine; completing initial ground tests to support this new 16,000-lb.-thrust category powerplant’s certification; and ramping up the manufacture of nacelle components at facilities in both France and the U.S.

Nexcelle is the joint venture of GE Aviation’s Middle River Aircraft Systems and Aircelle (Safran), with responsibility for the complete nacelle on Passport’s integrated propulsion system.

Passport program milestones achieved by Nexcelle to date include its delivery of the complete nacelle for GE’s no. 1 flight test engine, which is now at Victorville, California for installation on a 747 testbed aircraft; along with the performance of inlet icing evaluations conducted at GE’s Manitoba outdoor cold-weather rig. A thrust reverser, built for durability tests involving 225 deployment cycles, is being readied for delivery, as is a nacelle to be utilized in fan-blade-out testing – both of which will be performed at ground-based installations.

To support this activity and prepare for series production, the pace of manufacturing for Passport’s various nacelle components is being stepped up at Aircelle’s Le Havre, France headquarters site, as well as in GE Aviation’s Middle River Aircraft Systems’ facility near Baltimore, Maryland and at a new GE Aviation composites factory in Ellisville, Mississippi.

“Having successfully brought the integrated propulsion system from concept to reality, our two partner companies are now committing their full resources to support the Passport’s flight test and certification, while also ensuring the capabilities are in place for full-scale production,” said Nexcelle President Michel Abella.

About Nexcelle (

Nexcelle is creating smart nacelle systems for tomorrow’s world travel. Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, the company is a 50/50 joint venture of Safran (Aircelle) and GE Middle River Aircraft Systems (MRAS), which are leading suppliers of engine nacelles, thrust reversers and aerostructures.

Through Nexcelle’s relationship with CFM International, GE Aviation and Safran, the company brings unparalleled expertise in the design, development, production and support of integrated propulsion systems for a wide range of aircraft.

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