As GE Aviation celebrates its centennial anniversary, Rick Kennedy, GE Aviation retiree and unofficial historian, takes us through the past century examining how GE Aviation influenced the future of flight. This 13-part series captures the excitement of how a small team of engineers and machinists near the end of World War I has transformed GE into an industry-leading aviation company with more than 47,000 employees in 26 countries.

Chapter 1: Reimagining Flight, History overview

Discover the history of GE Aviation and its impact on aerospace in part one of our 100-year anniversary docuseries. We start our journey in 1919.

Chapter 2: Cincinnati Supports the War Effort

In part two, we learn how one of the world’s largest jet engine manufacturers ends up in Cincinnati, Ohio.


Chapter 3: GE’s Wartime Advances

The U.S. is lagging behind Europe in jet propulsion, the world is at war, and GE sets about introducing America’s first jet engine.


Chapter 4: Lynn and the Helicopter Franchise

How GE Aviation’s Lynn plant became one of the landmark helicopter and jet propulsion factories in the history of the aviation industry.


Chapter 5: The power of the J47 and J79.


Chapter 6: The power of the J85 and TF39

One of the coolest engines GE Aviation ever developed? The J85. It served both military and commercial applications. It also powered the Frank Sinatra’s Learjet.


Chapter 7: The Power of the CF6 and the Birth of CFM*

The success of of the CF6-6 and CF6-50 engines led to the formation of CFM International, forever changing GE and commercial aviation around the world.


Chapter 8: The Power of the GE90 and GEnx

By 1998 there was a high probability that the GE90 engine program was not going to survive. What changed? How the GE90-115b changed everything and helped launch the GEnx and others. 


Chapter 9: How CFM Launched the LEAP engine

The CFM LEAP engine is one of the most important engines ever developed by CFM International. Learn the technology and strategy behind the fastest selling commercial engine in GE Aviation history.


Chapter 10: GE Aviation’s Fighter Power

The J-47 and J-79 fighter engines put us on the map. Learn how all these decades later the F110 is powering the frontline fighters.


Chapter 11: Business and Regional Jets

Utilizing military and commercial technologies, GE Aviation establishes its business and regional jets franchises. 

Chapter 12: General Aviation

Though GE Aviation is known mostly for its jet engines, our history in turboprop innovation dates back to the 1940s. And today, the GE Catalyst is making a big splash in the #turboprop sector.


Chapter 13: The Next Generation

The last 100-years have changed aviation. See the technology and next-gen engines that will be the future for GE Aviation.

Prefer audio? Check out each story on our Soundcloud.


*CFM International is a 50/50 joint company between GE and Safran Aircraft Engines.