Smyrna Air Center Begins Flight Testing GE H80 Engines
Smyrna Air Center has begun flight testing its Power90 Conversion for the King Air 90 with the 800-shp GE H80 engines. The H80s are expected to deliver enhanced performance and are capable of full power up to 107 degrees F at sea level. Performance will be measured up to the aircraft’s 30,000-ft ceiling. The company calls the H80 engines “the next step up in performance for the Power90 conversion.” A Power90 King Air is on display at the Convention Center static area.
Smyrna Air Center (Booth No. N1731) was founded 26 years ago as a full-service FBO and later added maintenance and modification capabilities for the Beechcraft King Air 90 series twin turboprop. Currently the company offers the Power90 conversion with the GE/Walter M601 engines (705 shp each) and 14 have been done since 1999. The H80 engine upgrade will be added to Smyrna’s supplemental type certificate (STC) for that conversion.
GE acquired assets of Czech Walter Engines in 2008. A 2010 analysis of the Power90 conversion with the M601engine by Conklin & de Decker found that the $532,000 conversion provided enhanced safety and performance, reduced operating costs and firmed up resale value over the stock Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-21 engines. The conversion increases maximum cruising speed by nine knots to 256 ktas, increases range by 60 nm to 1,185 nm and boosts the one-engine inoperative ceiling to 18,000 feet from 16,500 feet.
Overall, Conklin & de Decker found that the Walter engines burned 14 percent less fuel than the stock Model 90 engines over the course of a typical year and were substantially less expensive to maintain.