Avio Aero – a GE Aviation company headquartered in Italy – and Bavaria-based MT-Propeller have announced their intention to collaborate to offer an integrated, fully European engine-propeller system.
The Bavarian company is now Avio Aero’s preferred propeller supplier for military applications outside the US, targeting the unmanned aerial systems (UAS), trainer and light transport market segments. Through this collaboration, Avio Aero is now better positioned to offer military customers – in Europe and globally – an integrated propulsion module based on the CATALYST turboprop engine and on the vast portfolio of commercial off-the-shelf propeller systems from MT-Propeller that maximises the value of the integration.
The CATALYST is the first engine in its class to have a Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) system that controls not only the engine but also the propeller: all-in-one and through a single level, bringing a jet-like experience to turboprop aircraft. Through the collaboration with MT-Propeller, Avio Aero intends to further exploit the benefits FADEC has to offer as an optimised propulsion system.
“This is a clear example where math is going wrong, and one plus one makes three,” observed Avio Aero’s Sales Director for military turboprop engines, Paolo Salvetti. “Through [this collaboration agreement] we can bring more value to our military customers, offering high performance, integrated propulsion systems that reduce interfaces and maximise the benefits granted by our FADEC.”
The arrangement further enhances the European nature of the CATALYST engine project, both in terms of technology and industrial return. The engine is based on all-European technology, involving the Czech Republic, Italy, Poland, France, Germany, Austria and Spain. This collaboration further increases the German technological and industrial content, making the integrated propulsion system even more European in nature. The result is of crucial importance, as it allows for not only a technological and industrial return, in addition to greater European independence, but also makes the entire propulsion system subject only to EU export control regimes.
“This collaboration will be characterised by an outstanding technology level: our lightweight composite propellers, realising lower maintenance costs for the operators, combined with a higher efficiency, will bring to the engine-propeller system more thrust and a reduction of the overall noise footprint,” commented MT-Propeller General Manager, Martin Albrecht.