GE Aviation CF6-6 engines enter retirement after half century of service

Shutterstock/Ivan Cholakov

The CF6-6 jet engine has been officially retired as of June 3, 2021. Belonging to GE Aviation, the CF6-6 jet engine served in commercial jet operations for approximately 49 years and 6 months, making it the oldest operating commercial jet engine owned by GE Aviation.

According to a press statement released by GE Aviation, the announcement of the engine’s retirement is just a few months short of a historic 50-year milestone of revenue service for the CF6 program. The CF6-6 engine was part of GE Aviation’s first successful widebody commercial aircraft engine program which went on to enable wider access to international passenger travel.

The first CF6-6 engine entered commercial operation on American Airlines McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10 in 1971 and shortly after the engine was found in United Airlines fleet. Today the oldest CF6-6 engine has accumulated over 92,000 engine flight hours and over 34,000 flight cycles.

Since the start of the CF6 program in 1971, over 460 million engine hours have been accumulated by the program.

“While this is an end of an era for CF6-6 engines that helped establish GE Aviation’s commercial engines business, the retirement of CF6-6 engines after nearly 50 years is a testament to the reliability of the engine product,” said Mike Kauffman, general manager of the CF6 engine program for GE Aviation. “Operators around the world have continued to count on CF6 engines throughout the global health pandemic to help deliver freight and important medical supplies.” 

FedEx recently retired its CF6-6D engines which had been previously installed on its fleet of McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10F aircraft.

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