General Electric and Czech Republic government officials has signed an investment agreement to build GE’s new turboprop headquarters in the Czech Republic.
The investment doubles GE Aviation’s in-country employment via 500 new jobs, 100 of which have been added since the start of 2016 to support development of GE’s all-new Advanced Turboprop (ATP) engine powering the Cessna Denali, Textron Aviation Inc.’s all-new single-engine turboprop aircraft.
The new Czech headquarters will consolidate GE Aviation Czech s.r.o. with the new ATP program. At the beginning of 2016, GE Aviation Czech s.r.o employed more than 400 workers building and overhauling GE H Series engines for small turboprop aircraft. GE’s ATP program will require as many as 500 new workers.
“New investments and employment opportunities are key government priorities. The agreement with GE Aviation will increase the number of qualified people in the Czech Republic aerospace industry,” said Bohuslav Sobotka, Czech Republic Prime Minister. “Government efforts to enhance the competitiveness of our country – such as the amendment on the Investment Incentive Act from 2015 – ease bureaucratic burdens and enable easier access to economic support. The signature of the contract confirms that our country is highly attractive for investors.”
“It’s great for the Czech Republic to finalize this agreement with one of the world’s most important companies,” said Jan Mladek, Czech Republic Minister of Industry and Trade. “This new headquarters includes engine development, test, production and overhaul, which is a huge opportunity for our engineers and other research and development experts. This agreement will become a motivating impulse for young workers and students to focus their interest in high-tech industries.”
“This new headquarters places the Czech Republic among the global elite as there are only four countries that both manufacture and export aircraft engines,” Karel Kučera, CEO of CzechInvest. “We are thus building on the Czech Republic’s rich aviation history through our top-quality engineers.” The investment agreement underscores the revitalization of GE Aviation’s turboprop business in the Czech Republic and across Europe. In 2008, production of GE Czech turboprop engines had dwindled to less than 10 units per year. Since acquiring the business in 2008, GE invested more than $100M to upgrade its facility at GE Aviation Czech s.r.o. and enhance design features of the H Series turboprop to spur total production to 250 engines powering more than 15 new aircraft applications. Production of the H Series began in 2012.
“This turboprop business headquarters highlights GE’s continuous investment across Europe supporting our development and production plans,” said John Rice, Vice Chairman of GE. “It combines the valuable expertise of our existing turboprop facility with the groundbreaking technologies of our commercial jet engines to pursue new products. It is the result of a long-term strategy and cooperation between GE and CzechInvest to enhance the high tech sector in the Czech Republic, creating hundreds of local jobs, strengthening our regional capabilities and adding to our global manufacturing network.”
In 2015, Textron selected GE’s clean-sheet-design ATP turboprop to power its all-new Cessna Denali. Today, more than 400 GE engineers in Czech, Poland, Italy and Germany are designing and testing hardware for the ATP, which is slated to begin full engine testing in late 2017. ATP certification for service entry is expected in 2019. Opening in 2022, the new GE turboprop headquarters is expected to produce more than 400 ATP engines per year at full production rate.
“The ATP is the most advanced turboprop engine ever designed for turboprop airplanes,” said Brad Mottier, vice president of GE Aviation’s Business and General Aviation and Integrated Systems business. “Today, GE Aviation employs 12,000 workers at 19 facilities in Europe while spending $1B annually with European Union suppliers. The company has bolstered the continent’s aerospace capabilities through acquisitions, new facilities, plant expansions and technology breakthroughs that advance the design and manufacture of GE jet engines, aircraft systems and now, turboprop engines. We are pleased to continue to grow our turboprop business in the Czech Republic with our new ATP engine.”
The new 1,240SHP-rated ATP is the first entry in GE’s new family of turboprop engines aimed at Business and General Aviation aircraft in the 1,000-1,600 SHP range. The ATP features an industry-best 16:1 overall pressure ratio (OPR), enabling the engine to achieve as much as 20% lower fuel burn and 10% higher cruise power compared to competitor offerings in the same size class with 4000-6000 hour maintenance time between overhauls (MTBO) and class-leading performance retention.
The Cessna Denali will have a range of 1,600 nautical miles and speeds higher than 285 knots. Key features of GE’s new ATP engine include:
– Ruggedized, modular architecture based on the CT7 turboshaft for better performance at lower operating costs.
– All-titanium, 3D aerodynamic compressor for light-weight and efficient power generation.
– Cooled turbine blades enabling higher thrust and fuel efficiency… leveraging the CT7 family’s 100 million flight hours and more than 5 million flight hours in hot/harsh environments.
– More than 10 additive manufactured components for reduced weight, quicker production speed and improved performance and durability.
– Integrated electronic propulsion control for optimized single-lever engine and propeller control.