EAA AirVenture

XTI Selects GE Catalyst for TriFan's Hybrid Core

 - July 23, 2019, 1:01 PM
XTI Aircraft says the TriFan 600 hybrid-electric VTOL will have the speed, range, and comfort of a business jet and the ability to take off and land vertically using three ducted fans. (Image: XTI Aircraft)

GE Aviation’s in-development Catalyst turboprop engine has been selected by XTI Aircraft as the core of its TriFan 600 VTOL hybrid-electric propulsion system, GE announced today at EAA AirVenture. TriFan’s performance requirements are expected to be met as GE and XTI work together to define a series hybrid architecture.

“GE believes that parallel and series hybrid propulsion systems, those that include a turbine gas generator to take advantage of the energy density of jet fuel, will lead to much more capable aircraft for both traditional and emerging markets for many years to come,” said GE Aviation turboprops general manager Paul Corkery. For nearly a decade, GE has been researching and developing hybrid-electric technology for a range of aircraft. 

“We are excited to announce selection of the GE Catalyst engine for the core of our propulsion system because it provides the level of power required even at the significant altitudes the Trifan will fly,” said XTI CEO Bob LaBelle. “Our recent work with GE Aviation has convinced us they are the best partner to develop the core of our hybrid-electric propulsion system.”

The six-seat TriFan 600 will have a top speed of 300 knots, maximum range of 1,200 nm, and cruise altitude of 30,000 feet. To date, customers have placed orders for 80 TriFan 600s.