3D printing continues its breakthrough in the aviation industry. General Electric has just delivered some technical details about its future ATP turboprop.
The first demonstrator of this engine already has 35% of parts produced in 3D printing, a figure that will increase on the second prototype. The motorist hope thus to lighten its engine and lower its specific consumption and thus push Pratt & Whitney on this market.
Goal: Lower emissions of the engine by 20%
General Electric wants to tackle the domination of the PT6 of Pratt & Whitney Canada in the turboprop market. This project represents an investment of 400 million dollars for the industrialist who, to dethrone his rival on the market of the turboprops from 1000 to 2000 hp needs to innovate.
The technical solutions implemented by General Electric engineers include 3D printing, or rather the additive manufacturing as manufacturers prefer to call it the industry. General Electric hopes to reduce the mass of its engine in the order of 5% and thus its specific consumption of 1%. The goal is to produce up to 35% of the parts of is engine in 3D printing. The first technology demonstrator of this engine, the “A-CT7” will provide with heat exchangers, housing of bearings and housings in the Additive Development Center (ADC) only to created General Electric in Cincinnati. Other parts will follow on the second copy. The ATP should take the air in 2017. He then our the future single-engine Cessna Denali, expected in 2018.
Translation : Bing Translator
“GE Aviation tests 35% additive manufactured Advanced Turboprop engine”, TCT Magazine, November 2, 2016