General Electric: Still Evolving After a Century.

General Electric sign on top of GE Administration Building
General Electric Sign on GE Admin building in Schenectady, NY. Image by Chuckthewriter. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

General Electric began in 1892 when several companies merged together, including Thomas Edison’s Lamp Company. The men in charge hoped for lasting success. But it’s unlikely they expected their company would remain one of the largest in the world for over 100 years.

In 2000, GE was the most profitable company in the world. Yet two decades later, profits have nosedived, as has the value of the company. Why?

The answer is complex. Read on for some history and explanation.

History of General Electric: The Foundations

GE sprung from the merging of a lamp manufacturer, an electric company, and a railway & motor company. When the Dow Jones Industrial Average was first published in 1896, GE was one of the first companies listed. The company helped industrialize America through the availability of cheap electricity.

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How the GE Turbine Changed Aviation

The Lusac-11 biplane used engines designed by GE Turbine engineers.
The Lusac-11 broke world altitude records in 1920 and 1921.

Do you know how the GE Turbine changed aviation forever? No? Read on!

What Brought GE into Aviation?

You probably know how Wilbur and Orville Wright made their first flights at Kitty Hawk in 1903,  especially if you’re located in North Carolina like AX Control, Inc is.  Yeah, yeah, we hear you, Ohio ‘first in aviation’ people.  Yes, the Wright brothers hailed from Ohio and that’s where they first designed the Wright Flyer. But what sounds like more fun: building or flying? We think flying! 

What you may not know is how fast aviation took off (ha!) from there.  Within two decades of that 12-second flight from the dunes at Kitty Hawk, trans-Atlantic flights were possible.  What’s more,  by 1927 Charles Lindbergh managed the flight from New York to Paris without having to refuel. 

But as World War I hit its peak, air superiority took on new importance for the entire world.  The new technology aided in combat, reconnaissance, troop movements, and defense for both sides.

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Gas Turbine Controls: A List of FAQs

Photo for article on gas turbine controls.  Sheep graze in front of a locomotive as it passes in front of a power station.
Gas turbines (and gas turbine controls) are used for everything from power stations to locomotives.

What do you know about gas turbine controls?

Here at AX Control, we focus a lot on gas turbine control systems. GE Speedtronic components make up a good bit of our inventory. Starting in the 1960s, Speedtronic components have set the standard for industrial turbine control. So we’ve learned a lot about gas turbine controls in our day-to-day operations as we’ve bought, sold, cleaned, and repaired these boards.

Here are some of the most common questions we hear.

What is meant by “turbine control” or a “turbine control system”?

The term “turbine control system” refers to anything designed to safely manage turbines in a reliable and safe manner. Control can occur through mechanical systems, electrical systems, or programmable controller systems.

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