First GE H80-powered King Air delivered

SMYRNA, Tenn. — Smyrna Air Center, Inc. has delivered the world’s first King Air C90 powered by General Electric’s new H80 800 SHP engines.

A formal ribbon cutting and delivery presentation was held at Smyrna Air Center at Smyrna Airport (MQY) in Smyrna Tennessee on Thursday Dec. 20, 2012.


(From Left) Neal Ropp, Director of Maintenance at Smyrna Air Center, Curt Drumm, Owner of Lakeshore Aviation, Bob Fields, CEO of Smyrna Air Center, Greg Ryan, Sales Director for GE Aviation, and Dan Sigl, Director of Power90 Business Development

The aircraft, a 1974 King Air C90, LJ-627, N4447W was fitted with two new GE H80 800 SHP engines, and two new Avia V510 5-Blade Quiet Propellers. Already installed were Raisbeck Wing Lockers, and Raisbeck Dual Aft Body Strakes.

Smyrna Air Center’s Avionics Department also installed Dual Garmin G600 MFD/PFD/AHRS, ADS-B Compliant Garmin GTX-330ES Mode S Transponder, and Garmin GWX-70 Color Radar, and Garmin 530W GPS, and a GDL-69 Satellite Weather Downlink.

PanelBob Fields, CEO of Smyrna Air Center, said “we are finally realizing our dream of selling slots for the Power 90 Program. The GE H80 engines make the 90-Series King Air a 290 knot aircraft at 28,000 feet and will take you from runway to 28,000 feet in just 17 minutes.”

Accepting delivery for the new owner was Curt Drumm, owner of Lakeshore Aviation in Manitowoc Wisconsin. He will place the aircraft on his part 135 charter certificate and operate it for the new owner. “I could not be more pleased with Smyrna Air Center, GE, or the aircraft,” said Drumm. “The excitement over this aircraft is high and has allowed us to pre-sell charter time in the plane. We fully expect to keep four-seven whiskey flying day after day. I’m already starting to get calls from potential H80 customers wanting to demo the plane.”

“Power 90” is an FAA-Approved STC engine conversion, owned by Smyrna Air Center for Beechcraft King Air models 90, A90, B90, C90, and E90 aircraft. The conversion program includes a full phase 1-4 inspection, removal of the factory installed engines, installation of two GE brand new H80 engines, and installation of two new Avia 5-Blade Quiet Props.

The GE H80 engine combines the M601 engine with GE’s 3-D aerodynamic design techniques and advanced materials to create a more powerful, fuel-efficient, and durable engine than the already efficient M601, according to company officials. GE Aviation’s Business & General Aviation Turboprops have more than 1,600 M601 engines in service that have accumulated more than 17 million flight hours on 30 applications.

The GE H80 engine requires no fuel nozzle cleanings due to its unique slinger ring design, no required hot section inspections, and 3,600 flight-hours, and 6,600 cycles between overhauls. Owners can expect significantly enhanced hot-day takeoff performance and high altitude cruise speeds, company officials said.

Smyrna Air Center, Inc. is a full service FBO based at the Smyrna Rutherford County Airport (MQY) in Smyrna, Tennessee, just outside Nashville, Tennessee.

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  1. pilotman says

    As we all know, not everything in aviation makes economic sense, but my guess is that the owner has well north of $1m in the 74 C90. There are King Air 200’s on the market with -61 engines and Raisbeck that true-out over 300 knots and carry 10-11 people for about the same money. However, if the owner is happy that is all that matters. GE will do a good job with the Walter engines. Competition makes everyone better. I have talked to M601 pilots who said the C90 was nose-heavy with a light cabin load, but I have no proof, since I have not flown one. The engines have to be flat-rated to 550 HP, since that is what the airframe is certified for. The H80 will, of course, hold that power to a much higher altitude that standard engines. Time will tell how the resale compares to the -135 powered Blackhawk conversions on the 90 series. I believe the best value in 90 series conversions is the American Aviation pitot cowls, speed stacks, and ram-air package that yields a solid 20 knot speed increase for about $60K installed

    • Dan says

      Very true. The H80s are holding 550 shp to FL270. For a bit over 1 million, the owner has an aircraft that will outperform a brand new $3.8 million dollar aircraft and have less maintenance with the engines. Plus, on the GE On Point Program, engine maintenance is covered and the owner can KNOW what his engine costs will be on a yearly basis. Whole new paradigm for King Air owners.

  2. Eddie Hunter says

    Great work folks, and greater luck for the future! This is a refreshing direction for an airplane with a proven airframe, with great history. The world is big enought for new things that improve time proven ideas that work……….

  3. Bruce Garben, C.L.U. says

    Are these gasonline, desiel, or electric engines? Not specified in presentation, especially
    for those who are new to aviation.

    Thanks 3/24/13

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