August 5, 2002
LYNN, MASSACHUSETTS - The U.S. Navy (USN) Acquisition Review Board has confirmed that GE Aircraft Engines' (GEAE) proposed T58 Engine Reliability Improvement Program (ERIP) has successfully met all requirements to qualify for low-rate initial production. The ERIP converts T58-GE-16 engines to the -16A model configuration.
The Board's decision was based in large measure on the successful testing of a new verification core module. Near-term plans also include Accelerated Simulated Mission Endurance Testing (ASMET) of one verification engine and "Lead The Fleet" flight evaluation on two additional verification engines.
The ERIP is to be introduced into 300 T58 engines powering Boeing CH-46E helicopters of the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) fleet. The ERIP improvements will help extend the service life of the helicopters to at least 2015 and will substantially increase the engine time on wing. Potential growth plans may include additional T58 engines.
The T58-GE-16A model includes an improved engine core module (compressor, combustor and high-pressure turbine) and modifications to the engine's power turbine and accessory package. GEAE will produce the core module at its plant in Lynn, Massachusetts.
The power turbine and accessory package modifications will be performed during their overhaul at the Cherry Point Naval Aviation Depot (NADEP) in North Carolina, using conversion and upgrade kits provided by GEAE. "This war-horse of an engine is being given a fresh new start that will enhance its proven reliability," said Ed Birtwell, general manager of GEAE's Turboshaft/Turboprop Project. "And many of the new features, such as corrosion-resistant coatings and materials, are appropriate for other T58 and CT58 engines powering military and commercial helicopters."
Including those powering the USMC CH-46E helicopters, more than 1300 T58 engines are in service with the USN and USMC, and more than 800 are in service with foreign military services. In addition, approximately 400 CT58 engines power the helicopters of 40 commercial operators throughout the world.
GEAE, a division of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE
) is the world's leading manufacturer of jet engines for civil and military aircraft, including engines produced by CFM International, a 50/50 joint company of Snecma Moteurs of France and GE. GEAE also manufactures gas turbines, derived from its highly successful jet engine programs, for marine applications. In addition, GEAE provides comprehensive maintenance support, through its GE Engine Services operation, for GE and non-GE jet engines in service throughout the world. Visit GEAE online at: http://www.geae.com