It’s deal time for GE Aviation as it returns this week to the Paris Air Show, which bills itself as the world’s largest and oldest air show for demonstrating commercial and military aircraft.
The international aviation trade show helps the Evendale-based jet engine maker drum up new business with aircraft manufacturers such as Airbus and The Boeing Co., and with airlines from the U.S., Middle East and China. With key decision makers in one place, the air show also helps the southwest Ohio company reach deals for new engine orders and services.
The air show, which is held every other year at Le Bourget Airport, attracts representatives from every major aircraft manufacturer and supplier. The show, which runs Monday through June 23, was established in 1909.
At the last Paris Air Show in 2011, GE Aviation and its joint ventures signed $27 billion worth of deals. To put that in perspective, GE Aviation’s total revenues in 2012 were approximately $20 billion. Engine orders are placed years in advance and payments are received upon shipment.
Several announcements can be expected at this year’s show.
“It’s a great opportunity to talk face-to-face in one setting with our customers,” Deborah Case, GE Aviation spokeswoman said.
At this year’s show, Ohio’s largest manufacturer will show off its newest engines and technologies still in product development.
There won’t be a physical model, but GE plans to publicly debut video renderings of its newest engine study GE9X. The engine is not expected to go to market until the end of this decade.
The GE9X will be the successor to the current GE90 engine that powers Boeing’s 777 jumbo jet. Boeing selected the GE9X earlier this year to be the sole engine supplier for its new airplane in development, the 777X.
GE Aviation will also display at the air show a GEnx engine that entered service in 2011 and powers the Boeing 787 Dreamliner twin aisle plane, Case said. GE Aviation and Rolls-Royce supply engines for the 787. The GEnx also flies in the Boeing 747-8 freight and passenger planes, Case said.
GE Aviation will highlight to show visitors its 3-D printing technologies, also known as additive manufacturing, with a small machine to do demonstrations, Case said. Additive, or 3-D, manufacturing is the process of creating solid objects from a digital file by printing thin layers of material one on top of another.
The jet engine maker is using additive to make components such as fuel nozzles for future engines GE9X and LEAP — the first engine containing components manufactured using the 3-D process is LEAP, which goes to market in 2016. It will be produced by CFM International, a joint venture between GE Aviation and the French company Snecma.
GE Aviation says using the additive process can make engines lighter and from more advanced materials that withstand high temperatures.
The Paris Air Show in one of two premier events in the aerospace and defense industry along with the Farnborough International Airshow in England, said Dan Stohr, spokesman for trade group Aerospace Industries Association.
“It’s the opportunity for companies to show off their wares,” Stohr said He said the aerospace association will focus on unmanned aircraft systems and policy issues at the event. Manufacturers “meet with their customers, display new products and meet with government delegations in the interest of promoting exports.”
Aerospace is big Ohio business. Among other delegations headed to Paris, economic development agency Cincinnati USA Partnership said Vice President of Economic Development Trevor Hamilton plans to go. Dayton Development Coalition representatives are going, too, state government officials said.
GE Aviation is headquartered in suburban Cincinnati and has a supply chain stretching the Interstate-75 corridor from Cincinnati to Dayton. The company employs 40,000 people worldwide, including about 8,600 people in the Cincinnati-Dayton region.