History of GE Aviation

We take our history seriously. It tells us who we are, we we come from, where we are going. Rick Kennedy is our unofficial historian. He tells our story. In this serious of videos.

When the United States entered World War I in 1917, the U.S. government searched for a company to develop the first airplane engine “booster” for the fledgling U.S. aviation industry. This booster, or turbosupercharger, installed on a piston engine, used the engine’s exhaust gases to drive an air compressor to boost power at higher altitude.

GE accepted the challenge first, but another team also requested the chance to develop the turbosupercharger. Contracts were awarded in what was the first military aircraft engine competition in the U.S. Under wartime secrecy, both companies tested and developed various designs until the Army called for a test demonstration.

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