GE Aviation And Walter Turbines


This is GE Aviation’s second appearance at AirVenture Oshkosh and it’s only been one year since the company acquired Walter Aircraft Engines, but they’ve already hung their new soon-to-be-certified enhanced version of the robust Walter M601 on a soon to be certified production aircraft. That aircraft is Thrush Aircraft’s new 510-gallon, 10,500-pound gross weight, Thrush aerial applicator (crop duster), and GE Aviation’s version of the engine is the H80 turbine. But that’s not all. Smyrna Air Power 90 conversions also offer the H80 as a re-engine package, complete with five-bladed props, for the King Air. Through application of GE’s 3D Aero technology, plus raw materials that allow hotter harder running, GE says it has reduced specific fuel consumption by 7.5% over the M601. Meanwhile, where the M601 put out 850 shp reduced to 750 through the gear and prop (as GE phrased it), the H80’s new internals have improved that to 1100 shp rated at 800, limited by the gearbox. Certification is set for the first quarter of 2010 and GE Aviation hopes to increase production dramatically soon after.

GE says its H80 is now “equal or better to other turboprops that are out there.” They hope to set the engine’s service life at 3,600 hours and 6,600 cycles. Though the gearbox is currently the factor limiting output at 800 shp, there is no current schedule for a gearbox upgrade. GE’s H80 will be produced in the Czech Republic, now in GE Aviation Czech’s new facility in Prague.