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GE Aviation unveils new jet enginesGE Aviation unveils new jet engines

GE Aviation unveiled a family of new jet engines that it expects to power future supersonic corporate aircraft.

The GE Affinity turbofan engine. Image courtesy of Aerion.

GE’s Affinity engines are designed for efficiency at both subsonic and supersonic speeds, and meet current noise and emission standards.

“Speed in the corporate jet fleet is up less than 10 percent in the last 50 years,” said Brad Mottier, vice president and general manager of GE Aviation’s business aviation unit. “We’ve got bigger cabins and longer range. The next step is speed, and we’re going to make that possible.”

Affinity engines combine aspects of GE’s military and airline engines. They are twin-shaft turbofans built around the core of an airline engine.

“It’s a hybrid between an airline engine and a fighter engine,” Mottier said.

GE’s Catalyst turboprop is expected to fly on Textron Aviation's Cessna Denali next year.

The Catalyst is a clean-sheet turboprop with full authority digital engine control designed to improve performance and efficiency and simplify operation. It also offers temperature, overspeed, and torque protection—and a single power lever controls engine thrust and propeller rpm.

The Catalyst is being tested and manufactured in Europe. Taking a swipe at rival Pratt & Whitney Canada, Mottier said GE Aviation launched the turboprop program because that segment “hasn’t seen a whole lot of new technology in the last 40 years” (since Pratt & Whitney Canada introduced its PT6 engine series).

GE entered the corporate aviation industry 10 years ago, and now its engines power a wide range of aircraft from aerobatic military trainers to long-range corporate jets.

“It’s been quite a ride,” Mottier said.

Dave Hirschman

Dave Hirschman

AOPA Pilot Editor at Large
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Dave Hirschman joined AOPA in 2008. He has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates. Dave flies vintage, historical, and Experimental airplanes and specializes in tailwheel and aerobatic instruction.
Topics: National Business Aviation Association, Turbine

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