When GE Aviation bought the storied but obscure Czech turboprop builder Walter Aircraft Engines in 2008, the American company hadn’t developed a new propeller engine in decades. Companies like Pratt & Whitney Canada dominated the market, while GE focused chiefly on making engines for passenger and military jets.
But engineers in both Prague and the U.S. spent the last seven years working on a new advanced turboprop engine(ATP) that could unlock the lucrative space. The bet paid off last fall when Textron Aviation, the world’s largest maker of business propeller planes, announced it would use the new engine for a brand-new plane it has been developing.
The 1,300 shaft-horsepower turboprop, which burns 20 percent less fuel and produces 10 percent more power compared to engines in its class, may be new but it has deep roots.
“Over time, we leveraged our technical strength to produce [the] all-new engine design,” Jeff Immelt, GE chairman and CEO, wrote in his annual letter to shareowners, published in February. “This will lead to $40 billion in revenue over 25 years, a long-lasting competitive win.”
Read the full story at GE Reports.