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The Warsaw Voice » Other » May 28, 2008
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High Ambition
May 28, 2008   
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Vincenzo Martorana, General Manager of Avio Polska, talks to Ewa Hancock

Avio Polska is a part of a large corporation. Tell us about what it does around the world.
Avio is an aerospace propulsion company with an international reputation for excellence in design, development, production and servicing.

Avio is acknowledged worldwide as a leader in accessories and power mechanical transmissions, low-pressure-turbines and combustors. Avio works with major engine manufacturers like General Electric, Rolls Royce, Pratt&Whitney USA and Canada, Honeywell and Snecma thanks to the quality of its production and design and its reliability of service.

Working with GE on its GEnx engine is one of our more recent collaborations. This is the most modern commercial turbofan in the world and will power the Boeing 787 and Boeing 747-8 aircraft.

All commercial Boeing and Airbus aircraft now have at least one version whose engine has an Avio component.

Avio has been charged with design responsibility in major international military programs such as EJ200 for the Eurofighter-Typhoon, TP 400 for the Airbus A400M, CT7-8 for the US101 helicopter and the new-generation engines for the Joint Strike Fighter.

As for space propulsion, Avio is responsible for a solid-propellant propulsion system for Ariane 5 and is the prime contractor for the European Vega Launcher, the most important ongoing development program in the European space sector. Vega is an example of what can be achieved by integrating expertise to build a system.

Moving on to marine applications, Avio is working with General Electric on its LM2500 marine gas turbine and is involved with the propulsion system over the entire product life cycle.

Avio was set up in 1908 by Fiat but left the group in 2003. The company turns 100 this year so 2008 is a milestone for us. Avio has gained a great deal of knowledge and expertise in maintaining, repairing and overhauling many different types of commercial and military engines over its long history.

How long has the company been operating in Poland? What sort of development path has it trodden here?
Avio set up its Polish subsidiary Avio Polska in Bielsko-Biała [in southern Poland] in 2001. This was an engineering center for the parent company and employs 29 Polish engineers.

The company began producing low pressure turbine blades for the CFM 56 aeroengines in 2003.

Avio Polska has been expanding every year and has been significantly increasing its level of investment and employment. The company now has a workforce of around 360.

We have more than 70 engineers designing and developing components for the most modern aeroengines like the GEnx-2B for the Boeing 747-8, the TP 400 for the Airbus A400M, the SaM 146 for the Su Superjet 100 and the GE CT7-8 for the Agusta Westland US 101 and the Sikorsky S92.

Avio Polska has a solid reputation in the Silesian region and has excellent relations with local institutions and universities. The City of Bielsko-Biała named Avio Polska "Company of the Year" in 2005 and the company came second in Silesia and ninth nationwide for innovation in 2006. The company has entered into major deals with the Technical and Humanistic Academy of Bielsko-Biała for training and for working on the development of the low-pressure turbine vanes for the GEnx-2B aeroengine.

Tell us about the company's future plans.

Avio Polska is planning to step up production shortly, mainly of GEnx-2B components. This is going to require additional capital outlays to generate the necessary capacity and create the new technologies required for surface treatments. These new programs will keep us going for another ten years and will generate a lot of employment. We're planning to employ 400 people by 2010. We're also planning to increase our engineering capacity to almost 80 people and to become more autonomous. We'll be seeing all these new programs through from design right through to development and production. We are also working on a new strategic initiative to build one of the world's most modern cold-flow turbine test facilities in Warsaw with Polish partners to support the design of new generation aeroengines.
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