The company has completed testing of a demonstrator engine on which the ATP will be based that is made from more than 35 percent 3D-printed parts. According to GE this has resulted in a 5 percent weight savings and a 1 percent increase in fuel efficiency.
The ATP will be derived from technology demonstrator (called the a-CT7) using components printed at GE Aviation's Additive Development Center (ADC) in Cincinnati, Ohio. Designed, built and tested in 18 months, the a-CT7 sees 900 conventionally made parts reduced to 16 printed parts. This adds up to an engine with 35 percent printed parts, which is a new aerospace record for the fraction of printed parts used.
When completed, the 1,240 bhp ATP itself will have 855 conventional parts reduced to 12 printed parts, which include the sumps, bearing housings, frames, exhaust case, combustor liner, heat exchangers and stationary flowpath component. GE Aviation claims the ATP will use 20 percent less fuel for 10 percent more cruise power compared to similar engines.