GE Aviation on Nov. 16 said Textron Aviation has chosen its 1,300-shaft-horsepower turboprop engine to power Cessna’s upcoming single-engine turboprop (SETP). The engine promises up to 20-percent lower fuel burn and 10-percent higher cruise power compared to competing turboprop engines in the same class, GE said, and comes with mean times between overhaul of 4,000 to 6,000 hours.
“Our single-engine turboprop will combine the best of both clean-sheet aircraft and new engine designs. Selecting GE as our engine partner reflects the best fit for the mission of the aircraft and our commitment to reliably deliver best-in-class performance capabilities to our customers,” said Christi Tannahill, senior vice president, Turboprops and Interior Design at Textron Aviation. “By leveraging the newest technologies, we expect our SETP to outperform the competition in critical areas ranging from cabin size and acquisition cost to performance capability and fuel savings.”
Textron Aviation’s single-engine turboprop is expected to have a range of more than 1,500 nautical miles with the GE engine and speeds greater than 280 knots, according to GE.
“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,” said Brad Mottier, Vice President and General Manager of GE Aviation’s Business & General Aviation and Integrated Systems division. “We’re honored 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.”
According to GE, the company’s new turboprop uses “ruggedized, modular architecture” based on its T700/CT7 turboshaft engine, used in commercial and military aviation, to achieve better performance at lower operating costs. It also boasts cooled turbine blades that GE says enable higher thrust and fuel efficiency to leverage the T700/CT7’s 100 million flight hours, including more than 5 million flight hours in hot and harsh environments. A titanium, three-dimensional, aerodynamic (3D-aero) compressor design is meant to improve efficiency and decrease weight. Additionally, structural components are produced by additive manufacturing to reduce weight and improve performance and durability, the company said. Other features include integrated electronic propulsion control for optimized single-lever engine and propeller control.
GE expects to conduct the detailed design review for the new turboprop in 2017 followed by the first full engine test in 2018.