August 14, 2008
Lynn, Mass. -- The successful official first-flight of the T700-GE-701D-powered AH-64D Apache Block III helicopter took place recently. The aircraft was flown by two Apache-rated aviators -- U.S. Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Richard Cody and Army experimental test pilot, Chief Warrant Officer 5 Rucie Moore.
"This milestone is a testament to the tremendous team effort of Team Apache -- the U.S. Army, our worldwide industry suppliers and Boeing," said Al Winn, Boeing vice president of Apache Programs. "The technologies incorporated into the Block III helicopter come from a cross-section of the best of industry."
Experimental test pilots -- one U.S. Army soldier and one Boeing teammate -- initially flew this Block III prototype aircraft over the Arizona desert on June 27.
"The evolution of the Apache allows GE to incorporate our continual enhancements to the T700 engine family," said Scott Reed, director – U.S. Military Programs. "We are proud to be on board this critical aircraft and be part of the great Apache team."
In addition to of the enhanced performance of twin T700-701D powerplants, the Apache Block III will benefit from technologies that deliver network-centric communications capabilities, extended ranges for sensors and weapons, unmanned aerial systems connectivity and control, and enhanced aircraft performance. The Block III technologies have been successfully tested and matured through a planned process of continuous modernization used since the delivery of the first T700-powered AH-64A model to the U.S. Army in January 1984 and throughout the deliveries of AH-64A Apaches and AH-64D Apache Longbows to the Army and the defense forces of 10 nations around the world.
"Built upon a legacy of success, the Apache Block III will deliver mission-critical performance capabilities to U.S. Army aviators, facilitating successful operations across the spectrum of conflict," U.S. Army Apache Project Manager Col. Derek Paquette said. The Army awarded Boeing the first Apache Block III contract in June 2005. In accordance with contractual milestones, delivery of the first production T700-powered AH-64D Apache Block III is scheduled for June 2011.
GE's successful T700/CT7 family of turboprop and turboshaft engines currently powers 25 types of helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft in service with more than 130 customers in more than 50 countries.
GE Aviation, an operating unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE), is a world-leading provider of commercial and military jet engines and components as well as integrated digital, electric power, and mechanical systems for aircraft. GE Aviation also has a global service network to support these offerings.