GE Aviation win Czech research grants

The Czech Government has awarded research grants valued at about $4 million USD (70 million CZK) to GE Aviation Czech.

The grants, awarded through the Czech Republic’s Ministry of Industry and Trade, will assist GE Aviation Czech in incorporating advanced technologies into its existing Walter M601 series engines, according to GE Aviation officials.  to reshape the landscape of turboprop aviation. GE Aviation bought the Walter line of engines about a year ago and spent the past 12 months setting up the new company and moving it to new facilities.

Since its debut in 1975, the M601 turboprop engine family has amassed 17 million flight-hours on more than 30 aircraft types. GE Aviation Czech, in cooperation with the Czech Aeronautical Research and Test Institute, will use the grants to incorporate GE technologies into a new derivative of the M601 engine. The new engine, the H80, will feature 3D aerodynamic design, advanced materials and new features, such as an axial compressor blisk, to reduce weight and parts count while enhancing engine performance.

The H80 engine will deliver more shaft-horsepower, improved fuel efficiency and increased temperature margin, significantly enhancing hot-day takeoff performance and high-altitude cruise speeds. The H80 engine will also feature an extended overhaul interval of 3,600 flight-hours and 6,600 cycles.

The development work is being performed under GE Aviation Czech’s aircraft engine Design Organization Approval authority issued by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). EASA type certification is expected in early 2010, shortly followed by FAA certification. All H80 models will be produced at GE Aviation Czech’s facility in Prague.

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