GE Aviation’s H Series selected to re-engine Ikhana Twin Otters
GENEVA, Switzerland –– Last week, IKHANA Aircraft Services and GE Aviation announced a collaborative effort to develop a variant of the de Havilland Twin Otter DHC-6-100/-200/-300 aircraft with GE’s H Series turboprop engines.
IKHANA is a specialist in structural upgrades, re-life, systems modifications, and increases to the max takeoff gross weight of the Twin Otter. The H Series turboprop engines will extend the performance and capabilities of the Twin Otter beyond what is currently available to operators around the world.
“IKHANA looks forward to working with GE in developing a modification option for the DHC-6 Twin Otter using the H series engines,” said Mr. John A. Zublin, IKHANA President and CEO. “The significantly higher horsepower of the H Series compared to other existing engine offerings is intended to provide improved utility and mission capabilities not currently available to Twin Otter operators.”
As new H Series applications enter service, production rates continue to climb, with upwards of 100 engines expected to be delivered in 2015. Since the engine family entered service in 2012, GE has produced more than 200 H Series engines for aircraft flying diverse missions, from Aircraft Industries’ L410 commuter plane to the Thrush 510G agricultural aircraft.
“The Ikhana agreement is the latest example of growing demand for the new capabilities offered by the H Series,” said Jim Stoker, President & Managing Executive of GE’s Business & General Aviation Turboprops. “Production rates will continue to grow as we introduce even more technologies into the H Series, like the electronic engine control that reduces pilot workload.”
Earlier this year, GE’s H Series powered the first flight of Nextant’s G90XT. In 2014, the H85 engine powered the first flight of China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co., Ltd.’s (CAIGA) AG300 business turboprop. In May 2014, the H75 powered AIR-TEC’s L 410 STC upgrade, replacing GE’s M601 engines currently powering AIR-TEC’s L 410 fleet. AIR-TEC’s H75 LET410s entered service earlier in 2015. The H80-powered Technoavia Rysachok aircraft – a twin-engine, 10-seat general aviation aircraft – took flight on March 27, 2014, in Russia.
The H Series received a multitude of certifications from aviation authorities after entering service: EASA, FAA, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Uruguay, Russia and South Africa. GE plans to pursue additional certifications to support its growing fleet.
In 2014, GE Aviation submitted an application to EASA to utilize S10 diesel fuel for its H Series turboprops and flight test trials are underway in Brazil. Certification of S10 diesel will help Brazilian H Series operators lower fuel costs by up to 25%. The average H Series engine consumes 648,000 liters of fuel before its first scheduled overhaul at 3,600 flight hours. By utilizing S10 diesel, operators could save more than $225,000 (USD) on fuel costs between overhauls.
The H Series turboprops incorporate GE's 3-D aerodynamic design techniques and advanced materials to create a powerful, fuel-efficient, durable engine with no recurrent fuel nozzle inspections and no hot section inspection for a multitude of uses: agricultural, business turboprops, commuter and utility aircraft. GE is also developing an integrated electronic engine control (EEC) for true single lever power control, and full auto-start capability to help ease pilot workload for H Series-powered aircraft.
GE Aviation, an operating unit of GE (NYSE: GE), is a world-leading provider of jet and turboprop engines, components and integrated systems for commercial, military, business and general aviation aircraft. GE Aviation has a global service network to support these offerings.