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Certification testing set to start on GE's new turboprop derivative engine

Certification testing will begin by year-end on demonstrator engines for GE Aviation's new H80 turboprop engine with first engine to test scheduled for early first quarter 2010. Derived from the proven design of the Walter M601 engine series, the H80 engine will produce up to 800 shaft horsepower (shp) to power utility, agriculture and business and general aviation aircraft.  

"GE Aviation has made significant progress on the H80 engine, moving from initial design phase to certification testing in about 24 months," said Brad Mottier, vice president and general manager of the Business and General Aviation organization at GE Aviation. "The H80 engine will offer customer a more powerful, fuel-efficient, durable turboprop engine."  

The H80 engine will deliver more shaft-horsepower, improved fuel efficiency and increased temperature margin, significantly enhancing hot-day takeoff performance and high-altitude cruise speeds than current M601 engines. The H80 engine will also feature an extended service life of 3,600 flight-hours and 6,600 cycles between overhauls.  

GE's 3D aerodynamic design techniques and advanced materials have been integrated into the H80 engine's compressor, along with flow-path and material improvements to the turbine nozzle guide vanes.  The H80's two-stage axial compressor also includes an innovative turbine blisk design.

GE has conducted extensive component testing of the H80 engine at its Prague facility, and the engine has already accumulated more than 3,000 cycles during hot section demonstration tests earlier this year. Engine certification is expected in mid-2010.   

Last summer, GE acquired certain assets of Walter Engines a.s., an aircraft engine design and manufacturing company with a distinguished history in aviation. Since that time, the new business, GE Aviation Czech s.r.o., completed its move to a new 135,000 square-foot facility in Prague. The new facility includes a new surface-treatment plant and new engine test cells. The GE Aviation Czech facility employs about 400 employees.

The former Walter Engines produced more than 37,000 engines, and its Walter M601 turboprop engine family has attained 17 million flight-hours on 30 applications since its introduction in 1975.  

Press release issued by GE Aviation's Business & General Aviation Turboprops on October 19, 2009


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