GE Opens Aircraft Engine Testing, R&D Center

$50-million installation studies icing, conducts certification testing

GE Canada opened a new testing and research center in Winnipeg, Man., where it will conduct icing certification testing on GE Aircraft jet engines, and develop new testing methods and equipment. The $50-million installation is a partnership for GE with StandardAero, a provider of engine and airframe maintenance services, engine component repair, and other skilled services for business and general aviation, airlines, and other customers.

"GE Aviation is in the midst of record new engine product development programs," according to Kevin Kanter, engineering executive of GE Aviation's Design & Integration Systems Engineering. "The new icing testing, research and development center will expand GE's testing capacity and allow us to meet our commitments to customers."

StandardAero will maintain and operate the 122,500-ft2 Aircraft Engine Testing, Research and Development Centre (TRDC), which is on site at the Winnipeg airport. It has 10 employees, though GE indicated that number may increase to 50 within five years.

"This marks a significant milestone in the partnership between StandardAero and GE," stated Rob Mionis, StandardAero president and CEO. "We've enjoyed a long-standing relationship with GE."

The TRDC is designed to test gas turbine engines up to 150 in. in diameter, and up to 150,000 lb. of thrust. It is outfitted to accommodate high-performance engines, GE noted. Its state-of-the-art noise-reduction system includes 50-ft.-high noise attenuation walls, 16-ft.-diameter augmentor tube, and a 51-ft.-high exhaust stack. Also, it incorporates a translating wind tunnel that will allow the TRDC to be expanded for year-round testing in other areas, such as performance and endurance testing, bird ingestion, ice crystal, and mixed-phase testing.

"This is a terrific example of how research and partnerships are driving new, innovative technology that can be applied within the aviation industry to drive productivity in Canada and also internationally," stated GE Canada president and CEO Elyse Allan.

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