EBACE Convention News

GE Celebrates H80 Success

 - May 13, 2012, 5:15 PM

GE Aviation (Stand 1143) is here promoting its 800-hp H80 turboprop engine, which was certificated by the U.S. Federal Aviation Adminstration in March and already has several applications. Meanwhile, the HF120 turbofan program–for the HondaJet–has progressed slowly.

Brad Mottier, GE’s v-p and general manager for business and general aviation, said an STC is in progress for the H80 to power the King Air C90 business aircraft. Meanwhile, the first H80-equipped Ayres Thrust 510G cropduster is to be delivered in June, and a 19-seat Let 410 has flown “over 300 hours” powered by H80s. Finally, Technoavia is said to have received 30 orders for its Rysachok light utility twin powered by the engine.

The H80 is a redesigned Walter M601. According to Mottier, 3-D aerodynamics and improved materials enabled the maximum power to leap from around 500 hp in the original engine to 1,070 hp in the H80. “All this while keeping the same number of stages and diameter,” Mottier pointed out. In addition, the H80 is claimed to have lower maintenance costs. The engine has no Fadec (full-authority digital engine control) system.

For current applications, the H80 is rated at 800 hp but GE engineers are studying higher ratings in the 850- to 900-hp range. The H80 program has been a successful and fast one. The Walter design was taken over in 2008 and EASA certified the H80 late last year. GE is working on additional certifications in Argentina, Brazil, Canada and China.

Meanwhile, the HF120 turbofan, jointly developed with Honda for the HondaJet light business jet, is “progressing toward certification.” Testing will be completed in August, Mottier said, after 4,000 hours. The program has been plagued by delays, especially when the fan had to be redesigned. It had failed during an on-ground ice-ingestion test. The GE Honda Aero Engines venture seems confident it is back on track, as it is now preparing for production.

In customer service, GE is gearing up for the Olympics in London this summer. It will have a team of field reps supporting Bombardier Challengers at a London’s Luton Airport FBO, Ocean Sky. Separately, GE is mulling the addition a Chinese location to its service network.