Smyrna Air Center Begins Testing GE H80 Engine On The King Air 90 Aircraft


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Smyrna Air Center Begins Testing GE H80 Engine On The King Air 90 Aircraft

By Steve Hall

October 13, 2011 - Smyrna Air Center, based in Nashville announced the start of its flight test data recording program with the new GE H80, 800 SHP engine on the King Air 90 series aircraft. 

The 800 SHP GE H80 engine is the next step up in performance for the Power90 Conversion. The GE H80, with new 3D aero design and advanced materials integrated into the compressor and turbine stages, will deliver enhanced performance throughout the King Air’s flight envelope.   

The GE H80 is capable of full power up to 107 degrees F at sea level.  Flight testing will confirm the improved performance that the GE H80 will provide to the King Air 90 as well as the true airspeed increase the aircraft will gain in cruise.  

The program will gather performance data from the GE H80 up to the King Air’s maximum service ceiling of FL300. The MVP-50T allows for multiple channels of data to be collected and stored for analysis by engineering and the flight crew at Smyrna Air Center.

“Smyrna Air Center and its team are working to ensure that we maximize the data collection. To accomplish the testing objective, Smyrna Air Center has selected the Electronics International MVP-50T system to be used in the test aircraft”, said Neal Ropp, Vice President/General Manager for Smyrna Air Center.

The General Electric H80 is a turboprop aircraft engine produced by GE BGA Turboprops. The H80 is an updated derivative of the Walter M601. The H80 is an update of the legacy M601 in several ways, including power and efficiency. The H80 brings significant power upgrade over the M601, reaching 800 shaft horsepower (shp) rather than the 650 shp of the M601. Another important upgrade to the engine is the improved hot day performance. That improvement is a major reason why the H80 was selected to power the Thrush Model 510 as a crop duster for Afghanistan. 


The H80 engine combines the robust turboprop design of the M601 series with GE Aviation's modern 3D aerodynamic design techniques, advanced materials and blisk technology to create a more powerful, fuel-efficient, durable turboprop engine with significantly enhanced high altitude and hot-day performance.  

With industry-leading maintenance simplicity, including no HSI requirement or fuel nozzles, the H80 delivers significant savings to owners and operators. Compatible with all propeller types, the 800 shaft horsepower H80 engine is loaded with performance features that provide expanded capability, flexibility and choice to the turboprop market.

Smyrna Air Center is middle Tennessee’s one-stop aviation support center, Smyrna Air Center is a modern, state-of-the-art facility which houses a full service FBO, 145 Maintenance Repair Station and Avionics Shop and the Power90 King Air Conversion Program.

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