An anonymous reader writes: GE Aviation’s CF6, its first commercially successful jet engine, celebrated 40 years in service on August 5. The CF6 ushered in decades of engine leadership that continues: at this summer’s Paris Air Show, CFM International, the joint venture between GE and Snecma, announced a record-setting $27 billion in orders for its new LEAP engine. Like many great successes, the CF6’s was the product of initial setbacks with GE’s first commercial engine, the CJ805. But the company learned from its early mistakes. “Do it right the first time you’re going to have it around for a long time to come,” said Gerhard Neumann, the former chief executive of GE Aviation. In April 1968, American Airlines and United Airlines chose the CF6-6, GE’s new 40,000 pound thrust engine, for their new fleets of Douglas DC-10 Series 10 aircraft. On August 5, 1971, American’s DC-10, powered by the CF6-6, made its first passenger flight, from Los Angeles to Chicago.