Addressing a Necessity

Addressing a Necessity

When there is a demand for an improvement in this industry, there always seems to be somebody that is willing to take on the challenge. That is exactly what Jim Mills of Aero Innovations has done (the same Jim Mills of Turbines, Inc.). Jim visualized a need for a replacement turbine engine on the 510G.

When there is a demand for an improvement in this industry, there always seems to be somebody that is willing to take on the challenge. That is exactly what Jim Mills of Aero Innovations has done (the same Jim Mills of Turbines, Inc.). Jim visualized a need for a replacement turbine engine on the 510G. He bought a 510G Thrush, removed the engine and its mount, built another mount that would accommodate the PT6A-45 engine with a five-blade Hartzell propellor. The prop is the same that is used on the 710P Thrush with its -65 engine. Then, acquired an FAA Form 337 for the conversion. The 510G Thrush with the -45 was sold to  Ed Huddleston of Ed Air in Oaktown, Indiana, who is presently operating it. 

Although Jim plans to eventually obtain an STC for the -45 to the 510G Thrush that was not Jim’s ulterior motive with this endeavor. He needed the GE H80 engine mount for the STC work to install a PT6A-34, or -41/42 engine and Hartzell 107” Hartzell four-blade propellor on it. This will be the same certified propellor used in Aero Innovations other engine/prop conversions.  

Jim Mills of Aero Innovations delivers a modified 510G Thrush to Eddie Huddleston of Ed Air in Oaktown, Indiana. The 510G’s H80 engine, propeller and mount were removed and replaced with an Aero Innovations’ engine mount, PT6A-45 engine and five-blade Hartzell propeller. 

The first time I flew the H80 Thrush, December 2010 (See AAU January 2011) while in the Experimental Category, it was called the H80 Thrush. It had the same Hartzell three-blade propellor as the 510P with its PT6A-34AG engine, less shot peening. To me, it was a dog; real poor takeoff performance. Later, Thrush Aircraft changed to the current four-blade Hartzell propellor on the H80 Thrush, now named the 510G Thrush, it flew very good. Actually, it was the best flying Thrush I’d ever flown and I’ve flown all of them, working most of them.

Not only was there a 100 SHP increase on a hot day with the H80 over the PT6A-34AG, the aircraft’s balance had been vastly improved. In my opinion, this was mostly due to the extended engine mount and removal of nearly 300 pounds of lead ballast in a ballast ring on the original mount. The aircraft flew light on the controls, was fast and very maneuverable. I loved it. 

Fast forward about five years. During that time, Aero Innovations obtained both an extended engine mount and four-blade propellor conversion STC for the PT6A-34AG on the 510P Thrush. I flew it in a series of three test flights (See AAU September 2015). I started with 400 gallons in the hopper in the standard 510P, advanced to the 510P with an extended engine mount (sans lead ballast) and finally the 510P with an extended engine mount and four-blade 107” Hartzell propellor; all aircraft with 400 gallons. The results were simply amazing. With each advance in aircraft, the performance took major leaps forward in improvements.

Since, Aero Innovations has delivered many of these engine/prop conversions for the Thrush. Jim knew that a change in weight and balance, along with increased horsepower, is what made the 510G so popular and was how the H80 engine, extended and improved engine mount and four-blade propellor combination improved the performance of the 510 Thrush.

Jim also believes operators need a choice between engines and is now moving forward with obtaining an STC that will allow the PT6A-34 and -41/42 to mount to the GE engine mount that effectively is an extended engine mount that affects the balance of the aircraft, a four-blade 107” Hartzell propellor and a reduction in empty weight when compared to the 510P. The mount will also come with a new K&N filter that is both cost effective and efficient. There is a turn time of one week for this installation with no major changes to the aircraft other than the engine and propellor conversion.

At this time, a price for the conversion has not been set. AgAir Update readers can be assured that most likely the price will be competitive and attractive like Aero Innovations’ and Turbines, Inc.’s other aviation products have been. The 510G’s H80 to PT6A-41/42 engine conversion should be available before the end of 2019.

(MillsGEconv)- Jim Mills of Aero Innovations, Inc. in Terre Haute, Indiana with a PT6A-41 mounted to an engine mount for the GE H80 engine. 

7902- (L-R) Jim Mills of Aero Innovations delivers a modified 510G Thrush to Eddie Huddleston of Ed Air in Oaktown, Indiana. The 510G’s H80 engine, propeller and mount were removed and replaced with an Aero Innovations’ engine mount, PT6A-45 engine and five-blade Hartzell propeller. 

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