The CT7-8 turboshaft engine, co-developed and co-produced by GE Aircraft Engines (GEAE) and FiatAvio of Italy, has realized a major milestone with the award of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Part 33 FAR engine type certificate, signifying the engine design meets all relevant federal aviation requirements.Receipt of the certificate culminates 4,000 hours of rigorous component and core engine testing, as well as ground- and flight-testing of the full engine, over a period of four years."This is a major achievement for the CT7-8 team and our suppliers," said Ed Birtwell, general manager of GEAE's Turboshaft Engine Operation. "The CT7-8 is the most advanced turboshaft engine in its class. Its performance to date has exceeded all expectations."The CT7-8 has been selected as the exclusive powerplant for the Sikorsky S-92, a 25,000-pound-class medium helicopter currently undergoing flight testing at Sikorsky's West Palm Beach Flight Test Center. The S-92 is designed to perform a wide variety of civil and military missions, including offshore oil support, revenue passenger service, search and rescue, and troop transport.Sikorsky and GE have enjoyed a long history of successful business opportunities, including the Sikorsky S-61 powered by GE's T58 engines, the CH-53 powered by GE's T64 engines, and the Hawk family of helicopters powered by the T700. The Sikorsky/GE team plans to continue this relationship with the S-92, working together to win orders in both military and commercial markets."We congratulate GE on this very significant achievement," said Tommy Thomason, vice president of Civil Programs at Sikorsky. "We are very pleased to have the CT7-8 engine on the S-92 and to report that engine operation to date has been flawless. The CT7-8/S-92 system has completed over 300 hours of ground testing and more than 400 hours of flight testing, plus aircraft testing in the climatic hangar at Eglin Air Force Base, including successful engine starts and operation at temperatures ranging from -40 C to +50 C."The CT7-8 is the latest growth variant in the T700/CT7 turboshaft engine family, which powers 25 different military and commercial applications worldwide. Rated at 2,520 shaft horsepower at takeoff, the CT7-8 has been certified with special 30-second and 2-minute One Engine Inoperative (OEI) ratings, which will permit Category A operation over a wide range of ambient conditions. The engine incorporates the latest-technology Hamilton Sundstrand full authority digital electronic control (FADEC) system and a compressor with sufficient airflow to provide ample margin to meet future S-92 power requirements.GEAE will begin shipping CT7-8 production engines to Sikorsky in mid-2001.