GE Aviation unit Avio Aero has continued to progress toward certifying its new Catalyst turboprop engine, completing almost 50 percent of certification testing, involving more than 800 hours. The engine has achieved more than 3,000 hours of combined operations in all, Avio Aero reported. The company (Booth S93) has assembled 19 engines and delivered three flightworthy engines to Textron Aviation for its new Beechcraft Denali single-engine turboprop. On March 25, Airbus announced that it had selected the engine for its new Eurodrone unmanned aerial vehicle.
The engine made its first flight on Sept. 30, 2021 aboard a King Air testbed at the Berlin Airport and was flown for the first time on the Denali on Nov. 23, 2021.
The Catalyst is a clean-sheet design in the 850-1,600 shp range made from technologies produced in Italy, the Czech Republic, Germany, and Poland. It is the first all-new business turboprop engine design in more than 50 years, the first designed developed and manufactured in Europe, and the first turboprop made with 3D printed components.
The engine is equipped with fadec and single-lever engine and propeller control. It has achieved 41,000 feet in an altitude chamber. Features include a 16:1 overall pressure ratio, enabling the engine to deliver up to 20 percent lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, and 10 percent higher cruise power compared with competitor offerings in the same size class.
The Catalyst is No-License Required (NLR) from the U.S. and is not subject to ITAR (international traffic in arms regulations) export control regulation by the U.S. Commerce Department. The engine is suitable for applications including hybrid-electric or electric transport applications and can generate more than one megawatt of power.
It is undergoing sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) demonstration at the advanced test cells located in Prague, as part of the collaboration agreement between GE Aviation and the Czech Technical University in Prague (ČVUT) with the stated goal of running on 100 percent SAF within the next months. Catalyst technologies are incorporated into Europe’s Clean Sky2 initiative—a public/private partnership between the European Commission and the European aeronautics industry to develop innovations that significantly increase aircraft environmental performance and reduce emissions.