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GE completes H series turboprop electronic engine propeller control tests

GE Aviation completed flight testing the industry's first Electronic Engine Propeller Control (EEPC) system with full auto-start capability on its H Series turboprop engine via a KingAir C90 conversion aircraft developed by Nextant Aerospace. The EEPC is designed to significantly reduce pilot workload, utilizing a single-lever control to integrate engine and propeller operation, eliminating overtemping and overtorquing to improve engine life and ease of maintenance.

Starts and restarts of GE's EEPC were completed as high as 30,000 feet, successfully demonstrating steady-state and transient response of the system.

GE expects to achieve European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification of the EEC system in the coming months. GE's first EEC-equipped H Series engine to enter commercial service will be Nextant's G90XT by the end of 2016.

GE's second EEPC certification will be Thrust Aircraft, Inc.'s 510G in 2017, powered by GE's H80 engine. In December, 2015, Thrush Aircraft, Inc., and GE Aviation announced plans to develop a new H85-powered version of the current Thrush 510G crop duster, which will enter service with the EEPC in 2018.

In addition, Blackshape and GE Aviation announced plans to develop a brand-new H Series-powered high-performance aircraft featuring the EEPC unit.

“Operators have wanted EEPCs on their turboprops for many years. GE is excited to be the first to bring this game-changing innovation to the market via the H Series,” said Norman Baker, President & Managing Executive of GE Aviation Czech, which produces the GE H Series family of engines. "We look forward to providing these easy-to-operate turboprop engines to meet the evolving needs of our customers. We're happy to announce Blackshape as our third customer for the EEPC and are look forward to the upcoming EEPC service entry."

The H Series turboprop family incorporates GE's 3-D aerodynamic design techniques and advanced materials to create a powerful, fuel-efficient, durable engine with no recurrent fuel nozzle inspections and no intermediate hot section inspection required for a multitude of uses: agricultural, business turboprops, commuter and utility aircraft. GE offers H Series turboprop engines with 4000-hour time between overhaul (TBO) for Agriculture, Utility and Business Aviation Aircraft. An extension program is also offered to extend TBOs for in-service engines.

Press release issued by GE Aviation's Business & General Aviation Turboprops on May 23, 2016


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