It’s real! General Electric and the government of the Czech Republic signed an investment agreement to build GE’s new turboprop headquarters outside the capital, Prague. The investment will double GE Aviation’s in-country employment. At the beginning of 2016, GE Aviation Czech s.r.o employed more than 400 workers, building and overhauling GE H Series engines for small turboprop aircraft. GE’s new Advanced Turboprop (ATP) engine program will require as many as 500 new workers. This engine will power the Cessna Denali, Textron Aviation Inc.’s all-new single-engine turboprop aircraft.
“This turboprop business headquarters highlights GE’s continuous investment across Europe, supporting our development and production plans,” said John Rice, Vice Chairman of GE. “It combines the valuable expertise of our existing turboprop facility with the groundbreaking technologies of our commercial jet engines to pursue new products.”
“It’s great for the Czech Republic to finalize this agreement with one of the world’s most important companies,” said Jan Mladek, Czech Republic Minister of Industry and Trade. “This new headquarters includes engine development, test, production and overhaul, which is a huge opportunity for our engineers and other research and development experts. This agreement will become a motivating impulse for young workers and students to focus their interest in high-tech industries.”
The investment agreement underscores the revitalization of GE Aviation’s turboprop business in the Czech Republic and across Europe. In 2008, production of GE Czech turboprop engines had dwindled to less than 10 units per year. Since acquiring the business in 2008, GE invested more than $100M to upgrade its facility at GE Aviation Czech s.r.o. and enhance design features of the H Series turboprop to spur total production to 250 engines powering more than 15 new aircraft applications. Production of the H Series began in 2012.
This is by far the most advanced turboprop engine ever designed for turboprop airplanes. The new 1,240SHP-rated ATP is the first entry in GE’s new family of turboprop engines aimed at Business and General Aviation aircraft in the 1,000-1,600 SHP range. The ATP features an industry-best 16:1 overall pressure ratio (OPR), enabling the engine to achieve as much as 20% lower fuel burn and 10% higher cruise power compared to competitor offerings in the same size class with 4000-6000-hour maintenance time between overhauls (MTBO) and class-leading performance retention.
Click HERE for more information on GE’s Advanced Turboprop engine.