GE Buys Walter, Czech Turboprop Manufacturer

General Electric Aviation, a division of General Electric, announced last week it had acquired assets of Walter Engines of the Czech Republic. Founded in 1911, Walter currently produces turboprops in the same power range as the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-and in fact there are supplemental type certificates for replacing PT6As with Walters on certain models of Beechcraft King Airs. The move by GE, which reportedly paid less than $70 million for the company, is considered an entrée into the light turboprop market for the manufacturer best known for its airliner-size turbofans. Under GE's stewardship, a new version of Walter's turboprop is expected to be announced this month. GE is also a partner with Honda in the automaker's light turbofan engine program.