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GE Aerospace Invests in Hydrogen Engine Dev

New EPISCenter in Dayton, Ohio to Serve as Hub for New Development

GE Aerospace bolstered its alternative power research with an investment of up to $20 million in the addition of a test cell at its Electrical Power Integrated Systems Center (EPISCenter) in Dayton, Ohio.

Like so many of its competitors, GE Aerospace has been eagerly working away on developing alternative, sustainable fuels for its future product line. The acceleration in technical advancement is quickly outgrowing older legacy equipment and facilities, particularly now that GE has been selected for a NASA contract. Under the deal, GE Aerospace will develop an integrated, megawatt (MW)-class hybrid electric propulsion system as part of the Electrified Powertrain Flight Demonstration (EPFD) program. Plans for the EPFD will include a battery of ground and flight tests of the hybrid electric system, using the EPISCenter and a modified Saab 340B aircraft. The facility has previously been the home base for a somewhat similar scene, doing research on NASA’s Hybrid Thermally Efficient Core (HyTEC) project.

The EPISCenter facility improvements will support testing for GE Aerospace’s expansive development of next-generation propulsion tech - more important than ever when so many competitors are working (and succeeding) along the same lines.

“The future of flight is more electric. GE Aerospace has been developing the building blocks for hybrid electric engine technologies for years, combining our world-class propulsion engineering, electrical power generation, and electrical power system management experience. Our new investment in EPISCenter to support hybrid electric engine testing affirms our commitment to the development of game-changing technologies for the aviation industry,” said Mohamed Ali, vice president of engineering for GE Aerospace.

GE Aerospace felt confident that the investment would be well placed given its extensive history of NASA contracts.

"NASA has a long history of supporting and advancing aviation research, and we’re currently working together with industry to usher in the next commercial air travel revolution,” said Tim McCartney, director of aeronautics research at NASA’s Glenn Research Center. “Single-aisle aircraft are the biggest contributors to aviation emissions. That’s why NASA Aeronautics is partnering with U.S. industry to enable next generation single-aisle aircraft with at least 25 percent more fuel efficiency by the 2030s."

“As we approach the 10th anniversary of opening EPISCenter, the growth has already outpaced our original expectations for electrical systems development and testing,” said Joe Krisciunas, president and general manager of electrical power systems for GE Aerospace.




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