General Electric's story begins before
1890 when Thomas Edison organized his various businesses into the Edison
General Electric Company. Because of an expertise in power generating
gas-turbines, the company was approached by the U.S. Army first in 1917 to
develop turbochargers, then again in the 1940's to develop jet engines.
GE had already begun development of a turboprop before hearing of
Whittle's turbojet. GE was selected to produce the W.2B under license.
This experience quickly lead the the I-40 and TG-180 (designated the J33
and J35). By 1946 both engines had been handed to Allison.
GE got back into the turbojet business with the excellent J47 and has been
one of the top aircraft engine companies since.