July 19, 2010
FARNBOROUGH AIR SHOW -- GE's helicopter engine business continues to design, manufacture and support the world's most advanced powerplants, while it concurrently invests in new products and technologies to ensure its readiness to serve customers.
When it comes to supporting the warfighter, GE's Military Systems Operation maintains an unwavering focus. GE was awarded a multiyear contract extension by the U.S. Army for continued production of the T700 engine to support both the Army and Navy Black Hawk series through 2014.
GE is collaborating with the Army to convert the Apache and Black Hawk fleet to the enhanced T700-701D engine. The result is increased time on wing (TOW) and superior mission capability in Iraq and Afghanistan. The -701D features improved hot-section components that provide twice the hot-section durability and lower life-cycle costs, and that can produce 5% more power than the T700-701C engine.
"We are proud to serve our military customers, both domestic and international, and provide topnotch products to ensure their mission readiness and success," said Ed Birtwell, vice president of GE's Turboshaft Project Department. "We will continue to leverage our experience, expertise and commercial/military-developed technology to enhance our capabilities and to ensure that our engines remain the helicopter engine of choice."
The new GE38 engine for the CH-53K is meeting or exceeding expectations during testing. Its First Engine to Test (FETT) phase was completed earlier this year, and further testing is expected to continue through 2012. 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 CH-53K is the new heavy-lift helicopter being developed for the U.S Marine Corps. The GE38 engine architecture incorporates new aerodynamic features for more efficient operation, improved cooling schemes and materials for added durability, and lower fuel consumption versus other engines in its power class.
The successful first flight of the T700/701K-powered Korean utility helicopter Surion took place in March. The T700/701K, co-developed by GE and Samsung Techwin, is the inaugural rear-drive T700 engine and features a -701D common core, high-efficiency counterrotating power turbine, and a new FADEC system.
On June 16, a T700-powered AH64-D Apache operated by The Royal Netherlands Air Force became the first rotorcraft in the world to fly using a blend of sustainable bio-kerosene and standard aviation jet fuel. The 20-minute flight was conducted in The Netherlands at Gilze-Rijen Airbase. The sustainable biofuel used in the flight was produced using algae-based biomass and cooking oil. In a series of preflight tests, the 50/50 bio-kerosene and traditional jet fuel blend met or exceeded the JP-8 fuel specifications for the Apache.
The CT7-8 engine family is evolving as well. The CT7-8-powered S-92 has been chosen as the new search-and-rescue helicopter for the United Kingdom beginning in 2012 (to be operated by Soteria). The CH-148 Cyclone helicopter, equipped with twin CT7-8s, is progressing well through its flight-test program. The Cyclone is being developed for the Canadian government as a replacement multi-mission aircraft.
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. This engine family has accumulated over 50 million engine flight-hours of experience.
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.