GE Aviation’s engine business has historically focused on military and airline applications, according to Shawn O’Day, manager of business aviation market- ing for the company. However, there were spin-offs from those areas that were applicable to business aviation and recently the company has intensified its interest in business aircraft by creating the Business & General Aviation (BGA) division, in February 2008.
With a firm launch customer in hand and fourth test aircraft ready to take flight, China’s ARJ21 program appears to have found its stride just ahead of this year’s Singapore Airshow. As the show approached, the first three flying test beds, assembled by Comac subsidiary Shanghai Aircraft Manufacturing Co. (SAMC), had flown some 220 hours over the course of 69 flight days.
When it acquired Czech-based Walter Engines in 2008, General Electric signaled to the industry that it was significantly boosting its commitment to the turboprop community. Renamed GE Aviation Czech, the company moved into a 135,000-sq-ft facility in Prague that includes CNC machining centers, EDM and NDT capability and a new surface-treatment plant.
GE Aviation has named Laura Schreibeis customer support director
GE Aviation acquired Naverus, the Kent, Wash.-based supplier of performance-based navigation (PBN) services. Among these services are required navigation performance (RNP) procedure development, PBN procedure maintenance, operations support and consulting for airlines, air navigation service providers and airports.
GE Aviation, which bought Walter Engines last year, has selected Premier Turbines as a designated repair center in North and South America for the M601 and upcoming H80 turboprop engines. The M601 will continue to be overhauled at GE Aviation Czech’s facility in Prague.
GE Aviation yesterday said that subsidiary GE Aviation Czech will begin certification testing of its new 800-shp H80 turboprop engine by the end of this month, slightly earlier than previous projections. Last summer, GE acquired assets of Walter Engines and renamed the division GE Aviation Czech. Component testing of the H80 has been under way for several months, and GE recently started aeromechanical and performance testing on test engines.
Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) has selected CFM International CFM56-5B engines to power 20 Airbus A320 family aircraft it has on order, in a deal worth around $270 million. The aircraft are due for delivery starting in 2011.
At a time when some see business aviation as an unnecessary extravagance, a new study sponsored by NBAA, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association and others has concluded that over a broad range of uses, business aircraft can materially benefit shareholders.
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) has accused General Electric Aviation of failing to seriously consider viable proposals that would have preserved the GE Aviation facility in Albuquerque, N.M. “Despite a legal obligation to weigh alternatives, it is clear the decision by GE to close this plant was made long ago,” said Ernest “Red” Dow, Local 794 president and directing business representative.