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A decade “beyond the engine”: Celebrating ten years with Smiths Aerospace in the GE family

May 26, 2017
Ten years ago, the acquisition of U.K.-based Smiths Aerospace took GE Aviation beyond the engine. The supplier of aviation systems broadened Aviation’s offerings for customers and created a more global footprint for the business.

Today, the legacy Smiths teams are helping transform our business into a digital-industrial leader and have expanded our presence to nearly every civil and military aircraft in flight today. The Avionics and Integrated Systems businesses have thousands of customers and tens of thousands of part numbers.

A shot from a lab at GE Aviation's EPISCenter in Dayton, Ohio.

GE Aviation has invested in electrical power research centers in Dayton, Ohio and Cheltenham U.K. to respond to the increasing demand of power on aircraft. Today, employees at these centers are working on the Electrical Load Management System (ELMS) and backup generation system for the Boeing 777X and classified Military systems wins that have broken new ground for the business. GE’s electrical power business is now a clear Tier-1 supplier and a leader in engine/generation/distribution/conversion power systems.

“By using these new state-of-the-art centers, GE is reducing development risk and maturing these products before aircraft introduction to an extent never done before,” said Vic Bonneau, president of electrical power for GE Aviation.

In partnership with our AVIAGE SYSTEMS joint venture formed in 2011, we recently congratulated COMAC on the first flight of the C919 airplane.  GE Aviation is a key supplier on the C919 providing the following through AVIAGE SYSTEMS: the TrueCourse™ Flight Management System, Onboard Maintenance System, Enhanced Airborne Flight Recorder, Standby Displays and Remote Interface Units. AVIAGE SYSTEMS is also supplying the integrated modular avionics system on the C919, providing the backbone of the airplane’s network and electronics.

As part of GE Aviation, the Avionics business has seen significant wins on Boeing platforms including the common core system and enhanced airborne flight recorder for the 787-10, replacing the incumbent on the Boeing 777X, the Mission Control System on the KC-46 which will enter service in the coming months, the Data Concentration Network on the Gulfstream G500/G600, computing and power systems on the Northrop Grumman X-47B and delivery of the flight management software on the 737 MAX.

"The 737 MAX flight management system is helping operators to reduce costs, while improving performance as it relates to on-time arrivals and less fuel, emissions and noise,” said Alan Caslavka, president of Avionics for GE Aviation. “We’ve worked with Boeing to include new state-of-the-art technologies on the 737 MAX and look forward to the entry into service.” [The Boeing 737 MAX, powered by CFM LEAP-1B engines, has since entered service.]

Take a 360 degree tour of the inside of a Boeing 737 MAX!

GE Aviation’s combined systems make it a prime contributor to X-47B UCAS, providing avionics computing resources, electric power system components and structures. Further developments continue with the Boeing 777X, Boeing’s new middle market airplane, adjacencies and the UAV market so watch this space!
Interested in learning more about GE Aviation's involvement in UAVs? Check out: The UAV revolution: GE Aviation positions itself for the future of flying machines

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GE Aerospace is a world-leading provider of jet and turboprop engines, as well as integrated systems for commercial, military, business and general aviation aircraft.