PRAGUE --- GE Aviation, which continues its mission to drive innovation in the Business and General Aviation turboprop market, has announced an official name for its Advanced Turboprop (ATP) engine.
ATP is now the GE Catalyst Advanced turboprop engine, a name that represents GE Aviation’s commitment to moving the turboprop market forward through innovation. This includes:
-- Enabling better performance through proven technology
-- Simplifying the flying experience by reducing pilot workload
-- Creating a higher standard of personalized service and support through digital
“The GE Catalyst engine is redefining what a turboprop can do for pilots, airframers and operators in Business and General Aviation,” said Paul Corkery, general manager for GE Aviation Turboprops. “It acts as a catalyst in an industry segment that has seen very little technology infusion in decades.”
In 2012, GE’s Business and General Aviation Turboprop team set out to validate its original hypothesis: the turboprop market is hungry for an engine with new technology and value. They met with airframers and operators to discuss specifications and designs of interest in a next-generation, clean-sheet turboprop in the 1000-1600 SHP range that could create a new class of aircraft.
Enabling better performance through proven technology
The GE Catalyst engine is the first all-new, clean-sheet engine in more than 30 years in the BGA market. There are currently 98 patented technologies on the engine. It utilizes proven technologies from GE’s larger engines with billions of hours of service.
It is first turboprop engine in its class to introduce two stages of variable stator vanes and cooled high-pressure turbine blades. It performs at an industry-best 16:1 overall pressure ratio, enabling the engine to achieve as much as 20 percent lower fuel burn and 10 percent higher cruise power compared to competitor offerings in the same size class. At 4,000 hours, the GE Catalyst offers 33 percent more time between overhaul than its leading competitor.
GE has incorporated new manufacturing techniques like 3D printing to enable more advanced component designs and reduced part counts. A total of 855 conventionally manufactured parts has been reduced to 12 additive parts. This reduction in complexity speeds production, reduces fuel burn and weight and increases durability with fewer seams and tighter tolerances. Additive components reduce the ATP's weight by 5 percent while contributing a 1 percent improvement in specific fuel consumption (SFC).
When installed on the Denali, these engine efficiencies allow for a larger cabin experience with a comfortable 6000-foot cabin altitude at a 30,000-foot cruising altitude, as well as class-leading, low cost of operation compared to smaller aircraft in the category.
Simplifying the flying experience while reducing pilot workload
GE is introducing the first Full Authority Digital Engine and Propeller Control (FADEPC) for the BGA turboprop market. The GE Catalyst is the alternative to traditional turboprop hydro-mechanical, multiple-lever control systems. GE Aviation leveraged its expertise in integration and controls on the engine to develop a single-lever control that offers a “jet-like experience” to reduce pilot workload and maximize performance without exceeding the engine’s limitations.
The FADEPC includes an automatic auto-start function and enhanced integrated functions.
“You are essentially allowing the pilot to focus on higher-level tasks,” Corkery said. “The system can make flying as simple as pushing a lever and pilots love it. They have more time to fly the plane, look out of the window and take in the experience, instead of monitoring and adjusting the engine all the time.”
“The simplified cockpit alone is going to be a catalyst for change in the way airplanes can be thought up in the future,” said Brad Mottier, president and general manager of GE Aviation's BGA and Integrated Systems organization.
GE Aviation, an operating unit of GE is a world-leading provider of jet and turboprop engines, components and integrated systems for commercial, military, business and general aviation aircraft. GE Aviation has a global service network to support these offerings.