GE H80 Turboprop Engine Snags FAA Certification

GE H80

Just a few months after EASA granted approval to GE Aviation's new H80 turboprop engine, the FAA has given the engine the green light as well.

With FAA type certification now in hand, the 800 horsepower H80 is cleared for use on the Thrush 510G crop duster, which made its first flight with the H80 in December 2010 and is slated for certification this year. When it comes to vying for Thrush business, the H80 will compete with the popular PT6 from Pratt & Whitney, which has maintained a stronghold on the light turboprop market for years.

The Czech-built L410 has also been undergoing testing with GE's new engine and completed its first flight using a pair of H80s last November. According to GE, the H80 will be offered on both new and existing L410s when the aircraft-engine combination enters into service later this year.

The H80 stems from the 650 horsepower Walter M601, a Czech design that was first delivered in 1975 and has since logged more than 17 million flight hours. According to GE, the H80 offers improved efficiency, horsepower, temperature endurance and maintenance intervals over the M601 thanks to the use of superior materials and advanced aerodynamic techniques. Those enhancements give the engine a service life of 3,600 flight hours as well as an edge in hot-day takeoff performance and high-altitude cruise.


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