GE Aviation’s Advanced Turboprop engine has successfully completed its first engine test run, GE has announced.

“Running the Advanced Turboprop engine this year was our biggest and most important goal,” said Brad Mottier, vice president and general manager, BGA and Integrated Systems. “This milestone comes as a result of two years of tremendous effort by a worldwide team. We’re developing a real catalyst for the BGA (business and general aviation) market and we’re executing on plan.”

He added: “The integration of proven technologies has expedited the design, development and certification cycle of the engine.”

The Advanced Turboprop engine will begin certification testing in 2018. The engine will power Textron Aviation’s new Cessna Denali, which is expected to fly in late 2018. By the time the Denali enters into service, the engine will have completed more than 2,000 hours of testing, GE says.

Harnessing data

“The continued testing will generate valuable data from the engine and validate the aerodynamics, mechanics, and aerothermal systems,” said Paul Corkery, general manager for GE Aviation Turboprops. “With the engine run and most of the individual component testing completed, early indications show that we will meet or exceed all the performance numbers we have quoted for the engine.”

The new 1,240 SHP-rated Advanced Turboprop engine is aimed at BGA aircraft in the 1,000-1,600 SHP range. It features a 16:1 overall pressure ratio, enabling it to achieve as much as 20% lower fuel burn and 10% higher cruise power compared to competitor offerings in the same size class, according to GE.

In addition, 35% of the turboprop’s parts are built via additive manufacturing (3D printing), reducing weight by 5% and contributing a 1% improvement in specific fuel consumption (SFC).

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