October 08, 2004
LYNN, Massachusetts - On September 15, the first GE-powered Italian production NH90 helicopter flew for the first time powered by two GE T700/T6E1 engines.
The 30-minute flight at the Agusta SpA facility in Vergiate, Italy, tested the aircraft throughout the basic flight envelope, during which the engines performed flawlessly.
The NH90 is a multi-role helicopter designed, developed, and produced by NH Industries, a joint venture of AgustaWestland (Italy), Eurocopter (France/Germany), Fokker (The Netherlands), and OGMA (Portugal).
The Italian Ministry of Defense (MOD) selected the T700-T6E1 engine to power 60 NH90 aircraft for the Italian Army and 56 NH90s for the Italian Navy. The MOD also placed options for 160 additional engines. Delivery of the first production aircraft is scheduled to begin in late 2005.
Rated in the 2500-shp (shaft horsepower) class, the T700-T6E1 engine features an advanced, increased-airflow compressor and a dual-channel, full-authority digital electronic control (FADEC) system. The engine was co-developed by GE and Avio SpA of Turin, Italy. Avio will also assemble and test the engines for the Italy NH90 program.
"We are very pleased to achieve this important milestone," said Ed Birtwell, GE's general manager, Turboshaft Engines. "The T700-T6E1 is a great engine for the NH90, combining the power and efficiency of a modern engine with extensive operational experience."
Since the first T700 entered service in 1978, T700s and their civil counterparts, the CT7s, have amassed more than 50 million flight-hours powering aircraft in service throughout the world, while setting new standards for reliability and availability.
GE Transportation - Aircraft Engines, a part of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE), is one of the world's leading manufacturers of jet engines for civil and military aircraft.