The Institute of Aviation has opened a high-tech Gas Turbine Center, unique in Europe and in the world. Thanks to its unique laboratory facilities and world’s largest vacuum chamber it will be possible to conduct tests of heavy-duty gas turbines as well as aircraft engines for the aviation industry. The official opening with the presence of the representatives of the ministries and leading Polish universities of technology as well as foreign guests was held on 20 January 2016.
The construction of the Gas Turbine Center is the result of the cooperation between the Institute of Aviation and the Military University of Technology and the Warsaw University of Technology in the project co-financed by European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and realized within the framework of Operational Programme Innovative Economy 2007-2013. The Institute of Aviation made a commitment to build a state-of-art facility that could accommodate innovative working spaces for 260 Polish engineers. The investment also interested the strategic partner of the Institute of Aviation – General Electric, whose representatives participated in the official GTC opening.
The construction of the new center was completed in record time, in less than a year from the decision to start the investment on the premises of the Institute of Aviation in Warsaw. The total budget was more than 100 milion zlotys. The three-story building consists of a repair workshop, specially designed for assembly work, brazing, welding and machining works, an innovation workshop – a modern prototype workshop equipped with e.g. 3D printers, an assembly hall fitted with two overhead cranes 50 metric tons each where a gas turbine will be placed, and design and service offices.
The Warsaw center can now boast of having the world’s largest vacuum chamber. Designed for blade detachment tests in largest turbine engines it is 12 meters long, it has 5.5 meters in internal diameter and weighs 177 tons.
By the end of the year the gas turbine that will be used as a simulator to verify a wide range of tooling instrumentation and to develop repairs in the field of joining will have been installed. The guests of the GTC opening could see its visualization in 1:1 scale.
The speakers stressed the importance of the new investment for the development and strengthening of the competences of Polish research and development facilities and also for the international cooperation. The Gas Turbine Center can be a significant player in the area of research services. The advantage of the new center lies in complex services that are going to be offered, as well as in realization of multi-faceted research tasks, in which characteristics and development of turbines apply to the specificity and expectations of both the aviation and energy areas.
At the Gas Turbine Center opening ceremony were present: Rafał Kajka, PhD Eng. – Deputy Director of the Institute of Aviation, Jerzy Majchrzak – Director of the Department of Innovation and Industry at the Ministry of Economy, Professor Krzysztof Jan Kurzydłowski – Director of the National Centre for Research and Development, Alicja Adamczak, PhD – President of the Polish Patent Office, Magdalena Nizik – Chairman of the Board at General Electric Company Polska Sp z o.o., John Lammas – Gas Power Systems Vice President, GE Officer, Mike Leary – General Manager, Gas Turbine Engineering General Electric, Steve Hartman – Power Services Vice President, GE Officer, Professor Witold Wiśniowski – Director of the Institute of Aviation, Professor Roman Domański – Chairperson of the Scientific Council of the Institute of Aviation, Professor Aleksander Olejnik – Military University of Technology and Professor Jerzy Banaszek – Dean of the Faculty of Power and Aeronautical Engineering of Warsaw University of Technology.
To celebrate the opening the GTC guests of the ceremony were given commemoratives statuettes.