The Catalyst™ turboprop engine completes first flight

Date 30.9.2021

GE’s Catalyst first flight demonstrates a strong partnership between GE Aviation Czech and CVUT

Milestone successfully achieved in 1 hour, 40-minute flight from the Berlin Airport

Innovations developed jointly lead to successful first flight, set stage for continued development

 

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC – The Catalyst™ engine completed its first flight today on a Beechcraft King Air Flying Test Bed. Catalyst™ is the first new, clean-sheet turboprop engine made in Europe to enter the business and general aviation segment in more than 50 years.

The Catalyst engine in flight on a Beechcraft King Air Flying Test Bed.

The Catalyst engine in flight on a Beechcraft King Air Flying Test Bed.

The successful first flight took off from and landed at the Berlin Schönefeld Airport. Flight testing will continue in the coming months, transitioning to the Czech Republic Hradec Kralove Airport at the advanced test center partnered by GE Aviation Czech and the Czech Technical University’s Centre of Aviation and Space Research (CVUT) of Prague. 

 

The two organizations have been collaborating on the Catalyst engine by leveraging their respective capabilities, knowledge, and expertise in the fields of both aeronautics and advanced engineering technologies and design. In particular, the collaboration has focused on the development of preventive health monitoring system methodology for turboprop engines. 

 

The longstanding partnership between GE Aviation Czech and CVUT is enhancing the aviation industry’s growth in the Czech Republic. Catalyst’s first flight illustrates how the GE Aviation Czech-CVUT collaboration can yield results in research and development while fostering engineering talent in the country. 

 

“This first flight is the result of huge efforts in very complex times and a best practice for the industry-university collaboration as the largest R&D program in the Czech Republic,” said Milan Slapak (foto below), CEO and General Manager of GE Aviation Czech. “The Catalyst milestone is telling us that our collaboration with CVUT is headed in the right direction. The King Air Flying Test Bed will soon fly to the testing center at Hradec Kralove where we’ll be able to continue our work with the University on the preventive health monitoring system methodology development.”

Milan Slapak - CEO and General Manager of GE Aviation Czech.

Milan Slapak – CEO and General Manager of GE Aviation Czech.

 

“We are pleased to have reached another milestone in Research Collaboration Agreement CTU with GE Aviation Czech,” said Michael Valasek (foto below), Dean of Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Czech Technical University in Prague. “We expect to achieve terabytes of data to see how GE Catalyst reacts in real flight in order to proceed with the development of models for preventive maintenance of modern turboprop engines, with the example of GE Catalyst.”

Michael Valasek - Dean of Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Czech Technical University in Prague.

Michael Valasek – Dean of Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Czech Technical University in Prague.

 

“In reaching this milestone, we’ve received great support from the GE Aviation Czech team that has helped us to develop the right expertise at the university and will enable us to educate new generations of engineers and leaders for aircraft engine testing,” continued Dean Valasek. “I am looking forward to welcoming Beechcraft King Air Flying Test Bed to the Czech Republic at our University Centre of Aviation and Space Research at Hradec Kralove airport. It will be the base for flight testing operation and the next round of experiments with GE Catalyst.

 

The Catalyst is GE’s first modern Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) controlled turboprop and is aimed to service the 850 -1600 SHP range, delivering a step-change in performance along with jet-like single-lever power control. Catalyst is also the first turboprop engine in aviation history made with 3D printed components. The engine features an industry-best 16:1 overall pressure ratio, enabling the engine to achieve up to 20 percent lower fuel burn as well as lower CO2 emissions, and 10 percent higher cruise power compared to competitors in the same size class.

 

More on the Catalyst program in our previous interviews with Milan Slapak:

 

MASTERS OF THE WIND

and Michael Valasek:

We are building an entire ecosystem for aviation and space technology

 

About GE Aviation

GE Aviation, an operating unit of GE (NYSE: GE), is a world-leading provider of jet and turboprop engines, components, and integrated systems for commercial, military, business, and general aviation aircraft. GE Aviation has a global service network to support these offerings. For more information, visit us at www.ge.com/aviation. Follow GE Aviation on Twitter at http://twitter.com/GEAviation and YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/GEAviation.

 

About CVUT

Czech Technical University in Prague (CTU) is one of the largest universities in the Czech Republic with 8 faculties and is the oldest non-military institute of technology in the world. The R&D activities are carried at the Center of Aviation and Space Research, established in 2016, with a strong track record and advanced infrastructure in the forefront scientific area of aerospace and aeronautic research undertaken at CTU’s Faculty of Mechanical Engineering (FME). For more information visit http://fs.cvut.cz/aasrc   

 

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