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Mon, Jul 27, 2009

GE Aviation Prepares for Testing of its New Turboprop Derivative Engine

Designed For More SHP, Better Fuel Efficiency

GE Aviation is preparing for the start of certification testing later this year of its new H80 turboprop engine, which is derived from the Walter M601 series engines. Drawing upon the design of the Walter M601 series, the H80 will produce up to 800 shaft horsepower (shp) to power utility, agriculture and business and general aviation aircraft.

"The H80 engine is a collaborative effort of engineers at GE Aviation's Evendale, Lynn and Czech Republic facilities," said Brad Mottier, vice president and general manager of the Business and General Aviation organization at GE Aviation. "The team took the elegant and robust design of the Walter M601 engine and incorporated GE's 3-D aerodynamic design techniques and advanced materials to create a more powerful, fuel-efficient, durable turboprop engine."

GE's 3D aero 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.

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. The H80 engine will also feature an extended service life of 3,600 hours and 6,600 cycles between overhauls.

GE continues component testing of the H80 engine. The engine has already accumulated more than 3,000 cycles during hot section demonstration tests in Prague. Additional engine demonstration tests are scheduled for this summer and fall. Engine certification testing is set to begin later this year with certification expected in early 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 that was awarded certification by the Czech Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and National Aerospace and Defense Contractors Accreditation Program in June. The site also boasts new engine test cells, which were completed earlier this month. 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.

FMI: www.ge.com/aviation

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