GE Aviation to produce engine for new Textron turboprop aircraft

A new GE Aviation turboprop engine has been selected by aircraft manufacturer Textron Aviation to power its single engine turboprop aircraft.

The 1300 shaft horse power (SHP) rated turboprop engine is the first entry in the new family of GE Aviation turboprop engines aimed at business and general aviation aircraft in the 850 to 1600 SHP range.

By partnering with Textron Aviation, GE Aviation is targeting more than $1bn in annual sales from the engines by 2020.

Textron Aviation produce aircraft such as the Cessna, Beechcraft and Hawker airplanes and Bell helicopters.

Textron Aviation’s new single engine turboprop aircraft powered by GE Aviation is expected to have a range of more than 1500 nautical miles and speeds higher than 280 knots.

GE Aviation's new turboprop engine will power Textron Aviation's new single engine turboprop aircraft.
GE Aviation says the new turboprop engine has the highest power to weight ratio in its class – image courtesy of GE Aviation.

According to GE Aviation, its new engine features a 16:1 overall pressure ratio, enabling it to achieve up to 20% lower fuel burn and 10% higher cruise power compared with competitors in the same size class.

Vice President and General Manager of GE Aviation’s Business & General Aviation and Integrated Systems division, Brad Mottier, said the new turboprop engine supplied to Textron Aviation was the result of five years of extensive research.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

Mottier said the creation of the new engine was a major step in creating a new class of aircraft.

“Our plan is to create a family of engines like Pratt & Whitney successfully did, and we’re talking to other airframers now, aiming to create a new class of aircraft,” he said.

“This is a big move for GE Aviation, we want to be a major player in this market.”

GE Aviation aims high with Turboprop

The aspirations of GE Aviation to be a major player in the turboprop aircraft-engine market will it invest $400m for a new European Center of Excellence in the Czech Republic, with the new venture aiming to produce an all-new single engine aircraft that can seat up to 12 passengers.

GE Aviation’s new advanced turboprop engine is aiming to take on the PT6, a widely used engine made by rival company Pratt and Whitney, an engine which has a track record of 51,000 units sold over five decades.

GE Aviation expects to conduct the detailed design review for the new turboprop engine in 2017, followed by the first full engine test in 2018.

Development, testing and production of the turboprop engine will occur at the new turboprop Center of Excellence in Europe.