GE Aviation announced that the new Catalyst turboprop engine successfully completed its first flight on Thursday. The flight, which took off and landed at Germany’s Berlin Airport, lasted 1 hour and 40 minutes and used a Beechcraft King Air Flying Test Bed. According to GE, its 16 Catalyst test engines have accumulated more than 2,600 hours of operation in ground tests and completed four certification tests to date.
“The first flight was very successful. I must say, everything went flawlessly,” said GE Aviation chief test pilot Sigismond Monnet. “We actually flew longer than planned, and the engine performed as we expected. I look forward to proceeding with the flight test campaign and expanding the Catalyst’s flight envelope.”
GE also reported that it has delivered an engine to Catalyst launch customer Textron Aviation for the company’s single-engine Beechcraft Denali prototype. The Catalyst engine is a full authority digital engine control (FADEC) controlled turboprop designed for the 850 -1600 SHP range. Built with 3D printed components, the engine features a 16:1 overall pressure ratio.