May 6, 2010
LYNN, MA -- The GE38 turboshaft engine has completed its First Engine to Test (FETT) phase, establishing a new shaft-horsepower (shp) record for the GE Lynn facility, exceeding production performance margins for fuel consumption and completing an initial 30 hour endurance test.
"We could not be more pleased with our FETT results," said GE38 Program Manager Harry Nahatis. "Rigorous testing has validated our design philosophy and reinforces a solid technical foundation for our upcoming qualification testing. We are on track to deliver as promised."
FETT, which focused primarily on design assurance testing, exercised the engine in some of the most demanding areas of operation. Data was accumulated on more than 600 parameters, including pressures, temperatures and vibrations.
Operability testing demonstrated excellent stall margin, indicating the throttle could be moved without impacting engine response. Engine vibrations were low, and all lube systems performed with temperatures in line with predictions. The Full Authority Digital Electronic Control system demonstrated outstanding operation, offering significant risk reduction.
The GE38 also established a turboshaft horsepower record for the Lynn facility, eclipsing 7,500 shp.
Completion of FETT sets the stage for qualification testing, scheduled to begin in 2Q2010, which will focus on engine durability, altitude performance and environmental compatibility. Testing is expected to run through 2012, concurrent with a full U.S. military qualification test program. In all, GE38 testing will include five ground-test engines that will accumulate more than 5,000 engine test hours, plus 20 flight-test engines for the Sikorsky CH-53K development aircraft.
The GE38 is the cornerstone for a new turboshaft/turboprop engine family, with a revenue potential of more than $4 billion including heavy-lift, turboprop and marine applications. Sikorsky selected the GE38 for its three-engine CH-53K aircraft, which will replace the CH-53E SUPER STALLIONTM
helicopter powered by GE's T64 engine, in December 2006. The GE38 provides 57% more power and 18% better specific fuel consumption, and it has 63% fewer parts than the similarly sized GE T64 powering the CH-53E.
The GE38 draws upon technologies from the GE27 Modern Technology Demonstrator Engine program for the U.S. military, which set world records for low fuel consumption and power-to-weight ratio, and the T407 turboprop engine developed for the U.S. Navy. A turbofan derivative of the T407 engine, the CFE738, powers the Dassault Falcon 2000 business jet.
GE38 architecture is updated with state-of-the-art aerodynamic features for more efficient operation, plus improved cooling schemes and materials for added durability. It can provide significantly lower fuel consumption for longer range and/or heavier payload compared to other engines in its class. Added power provides mission flexibility and enhanced hot/high aircraft performance, while its simplified design translates to improved reliability and a 50-80% operating and support cost advantage.
The GE38 also features a more rugged compressor design to increase durability, and is also highly resistant to sand erosion and salt-water corrosion -- features ideal to withstand the Marine Corps' tough operating environments.
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.
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacture, and service.