The great Paris Air Show scavenger hunt for GE technology
If Paris is a moveable feast then the Paris Air Show is an airborne one. The show, which takes place every two years at Le Bourget Airport, is the world’s largest and oldest aerospace event and brings together the latest technology in civilian and military aviation.
When the event first opened in 1909, it featured Louis Bleriot’s pioneering monoplane. Earlier that year, Bleriot became the first human to fly a plane across the English Channel. In 1927, Charles Lindbergh landed his Spirit of St. Louis at Le Bourget, concluding the world’s first solo transatlantic flight here. Le Bourget was decommissioned in 1977, and the terminal holds France’s largest state aviation museum.
The place is suffused with aerospace history. But during two weeks in June, you can see the industry’s future. Bleriot made his flying machines from ash wood, canvas and wire and Lindbergh progressed to aluminum. But both probably would be dumbstruck by the technologies on display today. Boeing and Airbus brought next-generation passenger jets with large sections made from carbon fiber composites. CFM International, a 50-50 joint venture between GE Aviation and Safran Aircraft Engines, sold more than 1,500 jet engines with 3D-printed fuel nozzles inside.
Additive manufacturing, which includes 3D printing, holds huge potential for the aerospace industry — so much so that GE Additive opened its own pavilion at this year’s air show. The new GE business is dedicated to supplying 3D printers, materials and engineering consulting services.
GE has been coming to Paris for decades. GE got into the aviation business in 1918, when its engineer Sanford Moss converted a gas turbine into a turbosupercharger that allowed American military planes fly at high altitude. GE went on to build the first U.S. jet engine and today an engine with GE technology inside takes off every 2 seconds somewhere in the world.
We decided to take a look around Le Bourget and find a few examples of this tech. Check it out.
This article originally appeared on the US edition of GE Report.