In 1996, Williams teamed with NASA to develop a small and light turbofan engine, the FJX-2, for general aviation. The General Aviation Propulsion (GAP) program was part of NASA’s 1992 Advanced General Aviation Transport Experiments (AGATE) program; a joint NASA/industry venture to revitalize general aviation.
The FJX-2 is a high-bypass-ratio turbofan engine that produces 700 pounds of thrust, yet weighs only 85-100 lb, about one-fourth the weight of piston engine propulsion systems with similar capabilities. To keep costs low, the FJX-2 team applied many lessons learned from research of automotive gas turbine engines. Emphasis was placed on simplifying design and reducing the number of parts. Low-cost design techniques and advanced automated manufacturing methods have led to the first turbine engine that is cost competitive with piston engines.