GE Aviation has unveiled a new turboprop engine aimed at business and general aviation that will achieve up to 20% lower fuel burn and 10% higher cruise power compared to other engines in its class. GE states that a key feature of the new engine is that it includes additive manufactured structural components that reduce weight and improve durability.
The new 1,300 shaft horse power (SHP) rated turboprop engine has been selected by Textron Aviation Inc., the world’s largest maker of business propeller planes, to power its single engine turboprop (SETP). GE expects to conduct the detailed design review for the new turboprop in 2017 followed by the first full engine test in 2018.
“Our single engine turboprop will combine the best of both clean-sheet aircraft and new engine designs. Selecting GE as our engine partner reflects the best fit for the mission of the aircraft and our commitment to reliably deliver best-in-class performance capabilities to our customers,” stated Christi Tannahill, Senior Vice President, Turboprops and Interior Design at Textron Aviation.
GE state that new design and manufacturing technologies developed for its latest military and commercial engines, such as Additive Manufacturing capabilities pioneered by the CFM LEAP turbofan, will help the advanced turboprop to extend time between maintenance overhauls by up to 30% more than existing engines.
Development, testing and production of the new turboprop engine will occur at GE Aviation’s recently announced turboprop Centre of Excellence to be located in Europe. The new facility will represent an investment of over $400 million and ultimately support up to 1,000 new jobs.
“For the past five years, GE conducted design studies and actively researched the turboprop market to identify and integrate the best of our next-gen commercial and military technologies at the lowest cost and risk to our business aviation customers,” stated Brad Mottier, Vice President and General Manager of GE Aviation’s Business & General Aviation and Integrated Systems division. “We’re honoured to be selected by Textron Aviation for its newest turboprop program and look forward to growing aircraft applications in the coming years with our new turboprop engine.”