General Electric will soon launch an upgrade for the H80-series turboprop engine family, to increase its power rating and fuel efficiency.
“There are some improvements we can make,” says Brad Mottier, vice-president and general manager of GE Aviation’s business and general aviation division.
A company meeting is scheduled for the week of 7 October, to decide on the timing of the formal launch for the next-generation H80 engine, Mottier adds.
The H80-series powerplants, including the H75 and H85, emerged from GE’s acquisition of the Czech Republic’s Walter five years ago. Since 1967, Walter manufactured the 650shp (485kW)-class M601 turboprop engine – an Eastern Bloc rival to the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A, and powerplant of the Let 410 aircraft.
GE Aviation revamped the engine with the initial release of the H80, certificated in 2012. That version included a new blisk design in the axial compressor stages, modern 3D aero design in the compressor and turbine airfoils and higher temperature materials in the turbine nozzle guide vanes.
The upgrades improved the rated continuous power of the H85 to 850shp. Applications include the Thrush 510G cropduster, Let 410 and CAIGA Primus 150.
GE Aviation is now looking at a new package of upgrades in the low-pressure turbine and accessory gearbox, Mottier says. The new updates should enhance the maximum continuous power rating “slightly”, he adds.