KUNOVICE, CZECH REPUBLIC -- Aircraft Industries has completed the first flight test of the L410-UVP-E20 powered by two of GE's H80 turboprop engines. The 40-minute flight occurred in Kunovice in the Czech Republic on November 16.

"The H80 engine performed extremely well in the first flight on the L410," said Miroslav Kozisek, product support director at Aircraft Industries. "The flight test crew put the aircraft and engines through many maneuvers, and the results are very promising as we begin our flight tests. We look forward to certifying the aircraft/engine combination and offering our customers the new H80 engines as a powerplant on the L410."

"This flight is the first time the H80 engine has powered a commuter plane, and the team is thrilled with the initial test flight data," said Paul Theofan, president and managing executive of GE Aviation's Business and General Aviation Turboprops. "While the current L410 has been popular in Russia, South America and Africa, the H80 engine's significant hot-day takeoff performance and high-altitude cruise speeds will allow the re-engined L410 to operate in additional regions around the world, which is exciting news for existing L410 operators as well as new potential customers."

The flight test is part of the certification program for the H80-powered L410 aircraft, which is expected to be complete in third quarter of 2012. Upon certification of the aircraft engine combination, Aircraft Industries will offer GE's H80 engine on all new L410 aircraft as well as an engine upgrade program to existing customers that operate M601-powered L410s.

The L410 aircraft first entered service in 1969. More than 1,100 units have been produced, with more than 450 aircraft still in service today. In February, Aircraft Industries signed a five-year sales agreement with GE Aviation for the purchase of M601 and H80 engines.

Aircraft Industries, located in Kunovice, Czech Republic, and formerly known as LET Kunovice, specializes in the production of L410 aircraft. The company's history dates back to the 1930s, when it was founded as an aircraft repair shop, and the company repaired various aircraft after World War II. LET built a new plant in Kunovice in the 1950s and designed its first general aviation category aircraft in 1957. Since then, Aircraft Industries has had a successful history in the manufacturing of crop spraying, jet training, glider aircraft, and commuter aircraft, in which it now specializes.

The H80 engine combines the elegant, robust design of the M601 engine with GE's 3-D aerodynamic design techniques and advanced materials to create a more powerful, fuel-efficient, durable engine compared with the M601 engine, with no recurrent fuel nozzle inspections and no hot section inspection. The H80 engine will features an extended service life of 3,600 flight-hours or 6,600 cycles between overhauls. It will provide the option of a single- or dual-acting governor, allowing customers to have flexibility in propeller selection. The H80 engine has been selected to power multiple applications, including the Aircraft Industries L410 commuter plane, Thrush 510G agriculture aircraft and Technoavia's newly designed Rysachok aircraft, a twin-engine, 10-seat general aviation aircraft. Engine certification testing on the H80 is complete and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification is expected by year end. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) engine certification will follow EASA certification.

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.