September 10, 2009
PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC -- The Czech Government has awarded research grants valued at about $4 million USD (70 million CZK) to GE Aviation Czech s.r.o. The grants will assist GE Aviation Czech in incorporating advanced technologies into its existing Walter M601 series engines to reshape the landscape of turboprop aviation. These research grants, awarded through the Czech Republic's Ministry of Industry and Trade, are the first grants ever received by GE Aviation from the Czech Government.
Since its debut in 1975, the M601 turboprop engine family has amassed 17 million flight-hours on more than 30 aircraft types, marking a record of durability, reliability and ease of maintenance. GE Aviation Czech, in cooperation with the Czech Aeronautical Research and Test Institute, will use the grants to incorporate sophisticated technologies into a new derivative of the M601 engine. The new engine, the H80, will feature modern 3D aerodynamic design, advanced materials and new features, such as an axial compressor blisk, to reduce weight and parts count while significantly enhancing engine performance.
"The confidence and support that the Czech Republic's Ministry of Industry and Trade has bestowed upon GE Aviation Czech are a testament to the H80's potential and further solidifies the government's commitment to the aviation industry here in the Czech Republic," said Paul Theofan, GE Aviation Czech President.
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 certification with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. All H80 models will be produced at GE Aviation Czech's fully integrated production and test facility in Prague.
In 2008, GE Aviation acquired certain assets of Walter Engines a.s., a Czech company with over 90 years of aviation heritage, and formed GE Aviation Czech s.r.o. GE Aviation Czech specializes in the design, production and service of turboprop engines at its integrated research and development and manufacturing facility in Letnany, Prague, in the Czech Republic.
Founded in 1922, the Czech Aeronautical Research and Test Institute (VZLU), is a research organization of the Czech Republic that provides research and technological support to the aeronautic, space and other selected industries. It has more than 150 engineers with masters or doctorate degrees, and its extensive scientific, prototyping and testing capabilities include aerodynamic, fatigue, environmental and systems test laboratories for aircraft, engines and propellers. For more information, visit http://www.vzlu.cz/en/.
GE Aviation, an operating unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE), is a world-leading provider of commercial and military jet engines and components as well as avionics, electric power, and mechanical systems for aircraft. GE Aviation also has a global service network to support these offerings.