GE and Textron Team Up to Develop New Turboprop Engine and Aircraft
GE Aviation, a leading aircraft engine supplier and subsidiary of General Electric, has recently joined forces with Textron Aviation in order to create an all-new turboprop engine and aircraft intended for the general aviation market. GE Aviation anticipates that this collaboration will allow for the generation of up to $1 billion in annual sales of engines by around 2020. GE Aviation’s advanced turboprop engine will be competing against the widely used engine by Pratt & Whitney known as the PT6, which has led the small turboprop market for roughly 50 years with around 51,000 units produced worldwide.
GE Aviation expects to invest around $1 billion in the project. This includes $400 million for a manufacturing site in Europe. The companies said that this joint venture is aimed at creating an all-new single-engine aircraft which is capable of seating up to 12 passengers. According to Textron, the target speed and range are in excess of 280 knots and 1,500 nautical miles. Textron is the largest user of small turboprop engines, as they make Beechcraft, Cessna, and Hawker airplanes as well as Bell helicopters.
The head of GE general aviation and business, Brad Mottier, said that the new engine will be based on proven technology from GE’s larger jetliner and military engines, and will be adapted to be an engine better suited for single and twin-engine general aviation aircrafts and helicopters.
“Our plan is to create a family of engines like Pratt successfully did, and we’re talking to other airframers now,”
“We’ve been working with airframers around the world to see if we could design an engine that would create essentially a new class of aircraft because frankly, if we didn’t bring something significantly different or better, why would the airframers change engines?”
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