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General Electric Commences ADVENT Engine Testing: GE Aviation began testing the variable-cycle engine core that it is maturing for the Air Force Research Lab under the Adaptive Versatile Engine Technology program, announced the company. "The ADVENT engine is a revolutionary military engine" that "will enable the Air Force to meet the aggressive performance targets required for future missions," said Jeff Martin, GE Aviation's general manager for ADVENT, in the company's early October release. The company said the testing will demonstrate "advanced core propulsion technologies," including lightweight, heat-resistant ceramic matrix composite materials that "will result in a 25 percent improvement in fuel efficiency, a 30 percent increase in operating range, and a 5 percent to 10 percent improvement in thrust compared to today's fixed-cycle engines." The ADVENT program is scheduled to conclude in 2013 with a full engine test. AFRL last month awarded GE Aviation a $394.7 million contract to continue its engine work through September 2016 under the follow-on Adaptive Engine Technology Development project.