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GE Aviation is among the top aircraft engine suppliers, and offers engines for the majority of commercial aircraft. GE Aviation is part of the General Electric conglomerate , which is one of the world's largest corporations.
General Electric had a long history in steam turbine work, dating back to the s.
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This led to a series of record-breaking flights over the next ten years. At first the role of high-altitude flight was limited, but in the years immediately prior to WWII they became standard equipment on practically all military aircraft. GE was a world leader in this technology; most other firms concentrated on the mechanically simpler supercharger driven by the engine itself, while GE had spent considerable effort developing the exhaust driven turbo system that offered higher performance.
This work made them the natural industrial partner to develop jet engines when Frank Whittle 's W. GE quickly started production of improved versions; the I was produced in limited numbers starting in , and the much more powerful I followed in , which went on to power the first US combat-capable jet fighters, the P Shooting Star.
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GE was repeatedly unable to deliver enough engines for Army and Navy demand, and production of the I now known as the J33 was also handed to Allison Engines in After the war ended, the Army canceled its orders for GE-built J33s and turned the entire production over to Allison,  and the Syracuse plant closed.
These changes in fortune led to debate within the company about carrying on in the aircraft engine market. However, the engineers at Lynn pressed ahead with development of a new engine, the TG, which was designated J35 by the US military.
Development funds were allotted in for a more powerful version of the same design, the TG This engine finally emerged as the famed General Electric J47 , which saw great demand for several military aircraft; a second manufacturing facility near Cincinnati was opened.
J47 production ran to 30, engines by the time the lines closed down in Further development of the J47 by Patrick Clarke in led to the J73 , and from there into the much more powerful J The J79 was GE's second "hit", leading to a production run of 17, in several different countries.
The GE and Lockheed team that developed the J79 and the F Mach 2 fighter aircraft received the Collier Trophy for outstanding technical achievement in aviation.
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Other successes followed, including the T58 , and T64 turboshaft engines, J85 and F turbojets. The TF39 was the first high-bypass turbofan engine to enter production. Although Lockheed later changed their engine to the Rolls-Royce RB , the DC continued with the CF6, and this success led to widespread sales on many large aircraft including the Boeing Another military-to-civilian success followed when GE was selected to supply engines for the S-3 Viking and Fairchild Republic A Thunderbolt II , developing a small high-bypass engine using technologies from the TF The resulting TF34 was adapted to become the CF34 , whose wide variety of models powers many of the regional jets flying today.
In the early s, GE was also selected to develop a modern turboshaft engine for helicopter use, the T It has been further developed as the CT7 turboprop engine for regional transports. At first sales were very difficult to come by, and the project was due to be cancelled.
Only two weeks before this was to happen, in March , several companies selected the CFM56 to re-engine their existing Douglas DC-8 fleets. GE also continued development of their own lines, introducing new civilian models like the GE90 , and military designs like the General Electric F GE Aviation also has a two-year exclusivity on the Boeing The Lynn facility continues to assemble jet engines for the United States Department of Defense , subsidiary services and commercial operators.
The plant at Lynn also produces the -3 and -8 variants of the CF34 regional jet engine, the CT7 commercial turboprop power plant and commercial versions of the T turboshaft which are also called the CT7.
Along with the purchase of Smiths Aerospace, the purchase included opening the first University Development Center at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Michigan , in the effort to work with engineering students to provide training in engineering and software development.
In July , governments in the Persian Gulf reached agreements with GE to expand engine maintenance operations there. GE Aviation follows through to develop a supersonic engine concept for Aerion with a configuration accommodating reasonably well requirements for supersonic speed, subsonic speed and noise levels.
Recently, they have started incorporating 3D printing technologies in their engines and have incorporated the manufacturing process in the newly designed GE9x , the largest jet engine in the world.
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Metal casting improves through competition with metal additive manufacturing , for which GE Additive believes it will soon compete with metal forging which will then be enhanced in response. Additive manufacturing is focused on new builds but can be used for part replacement: when complexity rise, costs stays level like replacing a parts turbine frame in one-piece.
The electron beam melting has good speed for economy, precision to reduce processing work, and size capability for larger parts; the hot process reduces stresses in the part and penetrates deeper than laser for thicker parts with coarser, cheaper metal powders. They are used in the CT7 combustor liner, for GE9X low pressure turbine blades - the first rotating parts - and for 16 parts in the ATP , including an 80 parts heat exchanger consolidated into one.
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