GE Aviation opens composites facility in Mississippi

GE Aviation's new composites plant in Ellisville, Miss., USA, will eventually employ 250 people and produce carbon fiber composite parts for the LEAP jet engine and the Passport jet engine.

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GE Aviation (Cincinnati, Ohio, USA) on April 30 celebrated the grand opening of its second aviation composites factory. Located in Ellisville, Miss., USA, it represents an investment that will add hundreds of new jobs in the state.

The new 340,000­-ft2/31,587-m2 plant will be referred to as GE Aviation's Ellisville Composites facility, and it will manufacture and assemble new composite components that are unique in the aviation industry. GE Aviation already employs more than 450 people at a factory near Batesville in northwest Mississippi, which opened in 2008. This factory is involved in the assembly of large front fans for jet engines as well as the production of composite components. With the opening of Ellisville, GE Aviation will add up to 40 jobs in 2013. Based on current demand for its jet engines, GE expects hiring to reach 250 employees in Ellisville by 2017.

The facility will produce carbon fiber composite parts for two new engine programs: the LEAP jet engine being developed by CFM, a joint company of GE and Snecma (SAFRAN) of France and GE's new Passport jet engine. Ellisville will manufacture fan platforms (installed between the engine's front fan blades) for the LEAP­1A and the LEAP­1C, which will power Airbus's A320neo and COMAC'S C919 respectively. Ellisville will also manufacture the inlet for the Passport engine, which was selected by Bombardier to power the Global 7000 and Global 8000 business jets. The inlet is a single-­piece component that is located in the front of the Nexcelle nacelle system and directs airflow into the engine.

In addition to jet engine components, Ellisville will manufacture the transcowl, a component of the thrust reverser, which is located in the rear of the nacelle for Airbus's A320neo.

To date, CFM has logged orders for more than 4,500 LEAP engines. This record backlog will ensure a stable workload at Ellisville for years to come. The Ellisville plant is also expected to produce other composite components in the future for GE's newest commercial jet engines and aircraft systems.

GE Aviation president and CEO David Joyce joined Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, U.S. Senator Roger Wicker and U.S. Congressman Steven Palazzo.

"Today is an exciting day for Ellisville, Jones County and the entire state as GE Aviation opens the doors to its second Mississippi facility," Bryant says. "I appreciate the contributions this exemplary corporate citizen has made to our state, and I thank GE Aviation officials for continuing to invest in Mississippi."

"GE Aviation’s growing partnership with the state of Mississippi is creating long­term economic growth," says Joyce. "We couldn't be happier with our Batesville operation, and we look forward to the growth of our new Ellisville operation."

Ellisville employees are being trained in team­-building and advanced manufacturing processes, with assistance from the Mississippi Polymer Institute at The University of Southern Mississippi and The Advanced Technology Center at Jones County Junior College. The plant delivers its first components in 2013.

"This new facility is a testament to South Mississippi's expanding aerospace corridor, business­friendly climate, and the work of our institutions of higher education to train and equip a world­class workforce. GE has made a solid investment in Jones County that is sure to pay off many times over," says Palazzo.

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