Hill Helicopters Unveils New Turbine Engine


Hill Helicopters has introduced a new turbine engine design intended for use with its HX50 helicopter, which is also under development. According to the company, the GT50 engine will feature Hill’s FADEC system, a direct-drive starter-generator, redundant electrical engine ancillaries and a modular design. Weighing in at 200 pounds, it is expected to provide a maximum continuous power of 400 HP, fuel consumption of 35 GPH and TBO of 5,000 hours or 20,000 cycles.

“By developing the engine in parallel with the helicopter, we were able to define exactly what attributes were required for the powerplant in order to deliver the payload, performance, package and engine control characteristics essential to the HX50, rather than having to accept a poorly suited and unnecessarily expensive old technology engine,” the company said.

As previously reported by AVweb, Hill Helicopters unveiled its clean-sheet HX50 helicopter design last August. The company says the HX50 will have a top cruise speed of 140 knots, 1,760-pound payload and range of 700 NM. Hill is currently aiming to have the design in production in 2023.

Kate O'Connor
Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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  1. Wow, a new turbine engine in a world where there may be existing, suitable, and reliable designs already available. I hope Hill has a lot of cash; I’m in the turbofan/turboprop certification sector, and it will cost nine figures to certify that engine in the USA. (One of our jet engine families crested two billion USD in dev and cert costs.)

  2. Richard P: Thanks for your comment. I’m interested in learning more, so maybe yourself or others can comment further on this engine.

    My initial impression was also that Hill could use the Rolls Royce RR300 engine that Robinson is using successfully. It seems like both engines are the same weight (about 200 pounds), but the Hill engine has about 1/3 more HP.

    Since Robinson has been so successful and is the world’s largest helicopter mfg. by unit volume, Hill has a chance I suppose if they do everything right. (Robinson makes everything in-house except the engine and avionics.)