GE Aviation recently handed over its 300th H Series turboprop, an H80-200, a milestone reached four years after the engine family went into full production and as the number of applications continues to swell.
The series, derived from the former Czech Walter M601 engine family acquired in 2008, now has 16 applications and is certified in 12 countries.
GE continues to gain interest in the engine as it has begun to certify its electronic engine and propeller control (EEPC) system on H-series applications. The EEPC provides single-lever control of the engine and propeller operation and includes auto-start, along with speed, temperature and torque limits.
GE first secured EASA certification in November and then FAA certification in March for the EEPC on H75 engines powering the Nextant G90XT King Air upgrade. The engine maker also recently submitted an application to EASA for approval of the EEPC-equipped H80 turboprop on the Thrush 510G agricultural airplane.
The Thrush 510G completed its first flight in March, and 250 hours of EEPC system ground and flight tests have been accumulated. Plans call for anEEPC-equipped H85 to be offered for the Thrush 510G next year.
The company added it has two more applications—that it can reveal—for the EEPC system. Diamond Aircraft announced a light military trainer that will use an EEPC-equipped H Series engine and Czech manufacturer Orbis Avia selected the H75 equipped with the EEPC to power its SM92TE Praga Alfa single-engine turboprop.
The Praga Alfa flew for the first time in March and Orbis Avia anticipates EASA certification by the end of this year. The company sees a market for more than 100 of its utility aircraft by 2022.
GE Aviation further has submitted a type certification application seeking EASA approval for its first aerobatic turboprop engine. The new H Series aerobatic engine model also will incorporate the EEPC. GE Aviation is eying 2018 certification for the aerobatic variant.