In aviation circles, one of the hottest research areas is electric power systems — which not only are used in today’s planes, but are paving the way for hybrid and all-electric aircraft. In March, GE announced that it would be creating a new R&D center focused on electric systems in Dayton, Ohio. Today, the University of Dayton campus — which is part of the newly created Ohio Aerospace Hub of Innovation — was chosen for the site.
Research at the center will range from new power systems for aircraft to longer-range electric cars to smart grid technologies. As the Dayton Daily News noted, it also means jobs. “The facility could provide a big boost in coming years for jobs and economic development in Dayton… State officials have said it would start in 2012 with about a dozen jobs, but could expand to 100 to 200 jobs over several years if GE Aviation hits sales targets over time.”
The decision to create a new aviation R&D center in hard-hit industrial regions follows GE’s recent move to create an advanced technology center in Michigan near Detroit and a new battery plant in New York that will help power new hybrid locomotives.
* Read today’s announcement
* See what business, academic, and civic leaders are saying
* Read “What is Electric Flight” on GE Reports
* Hear an audiocast by Vic Bonneau, president of Electric Power for GE Aviation Systems
* Read about GE’s other R&D on advanced batteries and electric vehicles