BRNO, CZECH REPUBLIC – As one of the largest R&D public-private partnerships in Europe – kicked off in October 2016 to join efforts with the aim to build an ecosystem for aerospace technologies – today, at the MSV-International Engineering Fair, the Czech Technical University’s Centre of Aviation and Space Research (CVUT) of Prague and GE Aviation Czech (GEAC) announced an expansion of their collaboration to demonstrate Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).
Embracing GE’s global ambition to reduce carbon emissions and achieve a more sustainable future of the aviation industry, which is also within the ecosystem’s mission: CVUT and GEAC are going to leverage their capabilities, knowledge, and expertise in the fields of both aeronautics and advanced engineering technologies and design with the aim to complete a successful demonstration of GE’s Catalyst engine using an approved SAF blend.
The Catalyst engine – the first new, clean-sheet turboprop engine to enter the business and general aviation segment in more than 50 years – completed its maiden flight on September 30th this year and is currently moving forward in its flight-testing campaign at the Berlin airport on a Beechcraft King Air Flying Test Bed that will then fly to Hradec Kralove Airport (CZ), where GEAC and CVUT have their partnered advanced center including four state-of-the-art ground test cells.
“CTU and GEAC are planning tests with the new Catalyst turboprop engine using SAF as decarbonization of aviation is a key topic within the EU Green Deal and crucial goal of research and development”, said Michael Valasek, Dean of Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Czech Technical University in Prague. “We are expecting to add significant results and solid data to the ongoing flying testbed campaign by further validating the Catalyst engine’s compatibility with SAF now and in the future.”
“We’re so proud of this collaboration that started just 5 years ago with the creation of an ecosystem and the development of preventive health monitoring system methodology for turboprop engines, then reached the milestone of first flight after thousands of testing hours at our test cells and now it is evolving for the sustainable aviation of the future,” said Milan Slapak, CEO and General Manager of GE Aviation Czech. “The test cells at Hradec Kralove Airport, thus, will host the new SAF demonstrations from 2022, while the joint team of experts and engineers at GEAC and CTU already started the preparation work on our new Catalyst engine that is really positioned to open a new era in its general aviation segment”.
The Catalyst engine aimed to service the 850 -1600 SHP range, yet collected more than 2600 hours of testing operation: in particular, the GEAC and CVUT joint work contributed to 1337 of those hours and accomplished 7 experiments (two are ongoing and 3 already scheduled), and yet generated over 250 terabytes of data.
GE’s Catalyst features an industry-best 16:1 overall pressure ratio and is able to achieve up to 20% lower fuel burn as well as lower CO2 emissions. The expertise of GE, dated back in 2007, for both the approval path and the development of SAF – all GE and GE partnership engines in service today and in the future could operate with 100% drop-in SAF once it is standardized and qualified by the industry – will be beneficial to the cooperation between GEAC and CVUT.
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.
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