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General Electric to build turboprop center of excellence in Czech Republic to manufacture advanced turboprop engines for Textron

January 18, 2016

Prague, Czech Republic – – GE Aviation announced plans to build its new turboprop development, test and engine production headquarters in the Czech Republic, creating more than 500 new jobs. The headquarters – officially called the GE Turboprop Center of Excellence (CoE) – highlights GE’s continuous investment across Europe supporting GE’s turboprop development and production plans. The facility is expected to open in 2020 to manufacture GE’s advanced turboprop engine (ATP) powering Textron Aviation Inc.’s new single-engine turboprop (SETP) aircraft, launched in November, 2015. While the CoE is constructed, ATP design and test will occur in GE’s existing facilities currently supporting advanced turboprop development.

With this move, GE Aviation is combining the valuable expertise in its existing turboprop facility in the Czech Republic – which in 2012 began producing H Series turboprop engines in the 750 to 850 shaft horsepower (shp) range – with ground-breaking technologies in its commercial jet engines, to pursue new turboprop engines in the 1000 to 2000 shp range, including GE’s ATP engine for Textron. The ATP features an industry-best 16:1 overall pressure ratio, enabling the engine to achieve up to 20% lower fuel burn and 10% higher cruise power compared to competitor offerings in the same size class with 4000-6000 hour MTBO and class-leading performance retention.

The selection of the Czech Republic represents an on-going investment by GE Aviation in Europe. In addition to GE’s investments in the Czech Republic since its 2008 acquisition of Walter Engines, GE acquired Italy’s Avio Aero in 2013. Through the end of this decade, GE is investing more than $1 billion to build Avio as a strong supplier to industrial and aviation industries – including business aviation applications like the ATP. GE Aviation employs more than 12,000 workers in 22 facilities across Europe.

The investment is also the result of a long-term strategy and cooperation between GE Aviation and the governmental agency CzechInvest to enhance the footprint of high-tech sectors in the Czech Republic.

“GE's considerable investment is evidence that the Czech Republic is an attractive place for foreign investors. If we realize this investment opportunity it will create more than 500 new jobs in the coming years, and this would represent a 125% increase in the number of GE employees in our country. Another important thing to note is that the Memorandum signed today will help increase the number of qualified people in the aviation sector, and increase related mutual activities between the Czech Republic and GE Aviation," said Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka.

"GE´s investment is another proof that the steps taken by the Government are moving the Czech Republic into the role of a technological tiger in Europe,” said Andrej Babis, First Deputy Prime Minister for the Economics. “Our strategy to increase the competitiveness and performance of the economy is showing tangible results and also initiating the increase of the employment rate in the high-tech sector. This investment also means a significant increase and diversification of our exports."

“Czech Republic is as an important technological and manufacturing hub for GE with thousands of highly skilled employees supporting our businesses in markets around the world,” said John Rice, Vice Chairman of GE. “In partnership with the Czech Republic Government, this latest investment makes complete sense for GE. It will create hundreds of local jobs, strengthen our regional‎ capabilities and add to our global innovation network," said John Rice, Vice Chairman of GE.

“GE Aviation in Prague has achieved so much since its launch in 2008, most notably by leveraging the robust design of the Walter M601 engine and incorporating GE’s 3-D aerodynamic design techniques and advanced materials to create a more powerful, fuel-efficient and durable turboprop engine in the H Series,” said Brad Mottier, vice president of GE Aviation’s Business and General Aviation and Integrated Systems business. “With the new Czech GE Center of Excellence, the ATP will join the H Series as the first engines designed, tested and manufactured outside the United States, incorporating the best of our proven technologies into our newest family of turboprops powering next-gen aircraft, like Textron’s SETP.”

The new Turboprop CoE will continue research on a 5,000 shp turboprop engine for the regional market, leveraging GE’s advanced turboshaft development programs. GE Aviation has the largest development engine portfolio in the jet propulsion industry, investing more than $1 billion annually in R&D.

In 2008, GE Aviation acquired certain assets of Walter Engines a.s., a Czech company with over 90 years of aviation heritage, and formed GE Aviation Czech s.r.o. GE Aviation Czech specializes in the design, production and service of turboprop engines at its integrated research and development and manufacturing facility in Letnany, Prague, in the Czech Republic. In 2012, GE Aviation Czech successfully launched the H Series turboprop family, incorporating GE's 3-D aerodynamic design techniques and advanced materials to create a powerful, fuel-efficient, durable engine with no recurrent fuel nozzle inspections and no hot section inspection for a multitude of uses: agricultural, business turboprops, commuter and utility aircraft.

In November 2015, GE Aviation unveiled its all-new ATP engine after being selected by Textron to power its SETP. The 1,300 SHP-rated engine is the first entry in GE’s new family of turboprop engines aimed at Business and General Aviation aircraft.

Textron Aviation’s GE-powered SETP is expected to have a range of more than 1,500 nautical miles and speeds higher than 280 knots. Key features of GE’s new turboprop engine include:

  • Ruggedized, modular architecture based on the CT7 turboshaft for better performance at lower operating costs.
  • All-titanium, 3D aero compressor design 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.
  • Additive manufactured structural components for reduced weight, improved performance and durability.
  • Integrated electronic propulsion control for optimized single-lever engine and propeller control.

About GE

GE (NYSE: GE) is the world’s Digital Industrial Company, transforming industry with software-defined machines and solutions that are connected, responsive and predictive. GE is organized around a global exchange of knowledge, the "GE Store," through which each business shares and accesses the same technology, markets, structure and intellect. Each invention further fuels innovation and application across our industrial sectors. With people, services, technology and scale, GE delivers better outcomes for customers by speaking the language of industry.

About GE Aviation

GE Aviation, an operating unit of GE (NYSE: GE), is a world-leading provider of jet, turboprop and turbo shaft engines, components and integrated systems for commercial, military, business and general aviation aircraft. GE Aviation has a global service network to support these offerings.

About CzechInvest

The Business and Investment Development Agency CzechInvest is an agency of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, which contributes to attracting foreign investment and developing domestic companies through its services and development programs. CzechInvest also promotes the Czech Republic abroad and acts as an intermediary between the EU and small and medium-sized enterprises in implementing structural funds in the Czech Republic.

Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements which may project revenues or describe strategies, goals, outlook or other non-historical matters; these statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.