By Mary Grady, Contributing editor
GE's H80 turboprop engine, which has been in development for several years in the Czech Republic, is now certified by the FAA, the company said last week. The engine was certified by EASA in December. The engine's launch customer is the Thrush 510G agricultural aircraft. According to GE, the engine "combines the elegant, robust design of the M601 engine with GE's 3-D aerodynamic design techniques and advanced materials to create a more powerful, fuel-efficient, durable engine with no recurrent fuel-nozzle inspections and no hot-section inspection." The H80 also will power the Aircraft Industries L410 twin-engine commuter aircraft, built in the Czech Republic, which has been flying since 1969, with 1,100 units produced. The new H80 version of the L410 is expected to be certified later this year.
The H80 engine will feature an extended service life of 3,600 flight-hours or 6,600 cycles between overhauls, GE said. It will provide the option of a single- or dual-acting governor, allowing customers to have flexibility in propeller selection. GE Aviation said it expects to produce 70 of the H80 engines this year. The H80 is the first GE engine to be manufactured outside the U.S., and the first to get its initial certification from EASA. It's based on the Walter M601 that was acquired by GE when they bought up Walter Aircraft Engines in 2008.