October 31, 2016
ORLANDO, Florida – On October 25, GE Aviation and Nextant Aerospace successfully completed first flight of the business and general aviation industry’s first-ever Electronic Engine and Propeller Control (EEPC) system via the H75-powered Nextant G90XT. The same aircraft flew to NBAA in Orlando and is on static display at the Orlando Executive Airport, Booth S44. Since its first flight last week, the G90XT has flown four times for nearly 10 total flight hours.
The H Series EEPC is equipped with full auto-start capability and is designed to significantly reduce pilot workload, utilizing a single-lever control to integrate engine and propeller operation, eliminate overtemping and overtorquing and improve engine life and ease of maintenance. All EEPC paperwork has been submitted to the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for type certification, which is expected before the end of 2016. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) type certification is also expected before the end of 2016.
“Operators have wanted EEPCs on their turboprops for many years, so GE is excited to be the first to bring this game-changing innovation to the market via the H Series,” said Norman Baker, President & Managing Executive of GE Aviation Czech, which produces the GE H Series family of engines. "Having the EEPC-equipped H75 turboprop fly to NBAA with Nextant is a proud moment for everyone who has worked so hard to bring this technology to life. Certification of the EEPC is imminent and we look forward to providing these easy-to-operate turboprop engines to our customers across the globe.”
“Our focus was to simplify cockpit operations with the goal that simplicity would drive safety,” said Nathan Marker, VP of Flight Operations, Chief Pilot at Nextant. “This idea combined with best in class performance makes for the perfect aircraft.”
EEPC system testing and validation is complete with more than 200 hours of ground and flight tests. The first application for the EEPC is Nextant’s G90XT, a remanufactured Beechcraft King Air C90. Nextant expects to achieve U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification and deliver its first EEPC-equipped aircraft before the end of this year.
In May, 2016, Thrush Aircraft, Inc., and GE Aviation announced plans to develop EEPC-equipped versions of the Thrush 510G. First, the EEPC will be offered as optional engine upgrade to the standard H80-powered 510G, with planned certification in 2017 following initial installation later this year. In 2018, GE plans to offer an EEPC-equipped H85 for 510G operators, providing additional horsepower for crop dusting missions.
Also in May, Blackshape and GE announced plans to develop a modified version of the H Series turboprop engine to power Blackshape’s new aircraft development. Details on the aircraft will be released in the coming months. Blackshape’s modified H Series engine will feature higher inertial load capability along with GE’s EEPC system. This new program marks the first cooperation between GE and Blackshape.
The H Series turboprop family incorporates 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 intermediate hot section inspection required for a multitude of uses: agricultural, business turboprops, commuter and utility aircraft. GE offers H Series turboprop engines with 4000-hour time between overhaul (TBO) for Agriculture, Utility and Business Aviation Aircraft. An extension program is also offered to extend TBOs for in-service engines.
About Nextant Aerospace
Nextant’s pioneering process for remanufacturing business jets is now recognized as an established technical and commercial success worldwide with significant sales in every major operator category and class-leading levels of comfort, performance and reliability – all at a purchase price half that of comparable aircraft. The revolutionary 400XTi light jet features Williams FJ44-3AP engines and the Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21™ integrated flight deck. The same winning combination will soon be available in the Nextant G90XT turboprop powered by next-generation GE H75-100 engines and introducing an enhanced Garmin G1000 integrated flight deck. Founded in 2007, Nextant is based in Cleveland, Ohio. For more information, visit www.nextantaerospace.com, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @nextantaero or join us on LinkedIn.
About GE Aviation
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.