The Laureate Awards are the aviation industry’s version of the Oscars—a black tie event with glamour and glitz mixed in with some of the top aviation minds and businesses in the global aerospace community.
Over the last five years, GE Aviation has brought home the gold—or in this case, the glass—three times. The most recent win came last week at the 62nd Laureate Awards in Washington, D.C. GE Aviation was recognized by Aviation Week in the Business Aviation category for the GE Catalyst program’s innovative work with additive manufacturing design and implementation.
GE’s Catalyst is the first clean-sheet turboprop engine for the Business and General Aviation market in more than 30 years. It includes more printed components than any production engine in aviation history. More than 800 conventionally manufactured parts have been reduced to 12 additive parts on the engine.
“For more than six decades, Aviation Week editors have annually awarded Laureates to great achievers in aerospace and aviation,” said Aviation Week Network Editorial Director Joe Anselmo. “GE Aviation and this year’s winners exemplify the spirit and innovations that are transforming our industry to meet the challenges of tomorrow.”
Additive components reduce the Catalyst’s weight by 5 percent while contributing a 1 percent improvement in specific fuel consumption (SFC). Thanks to additive manufacturing, the Catalyst program has benefited with a reduction of cycle time, as well as fewer first article inspections, less inventory, fewer defect opportunities and a reduction in tooling costs.
“It is a privilege to be recognized with a Laureates Award, one of the highest honors in the Aviation industry,” said Brad Mottier, GE Aviation Vice President and General Manager for Business and General Aviation & Integrated Systems. “The Catalyst turboprop is a gamechanger for the business and general aviation market. The incredible work that this team is executing on will no doubt benefit future additive manufacturing engine design and production methods across the aviation industry.”
The GE Catalyst engine was chosen by Textron to power the new Cessna Denali and is currently going through certification testing. GE’s work on its newest turboprop has been a worldwide collaboration. It includes 22 GE Aviation facilities in Europe with teams located in the Czech Republic, Poland, Germany and Italy, as well as 1,800 engineers.
This is GE Aviation’s third Laureate Award in the last five years. Mottier (2014, Business/General Aviation) and GE Aviation additive manufacturing pioneer Greg Morris (2015, IT/Electronics) also received the honor. The Bombardier Global 7500, powered by GE’s Passport engine, was recognized as the Grand Laureate winner in the Business Aviation category.