LYNN, MASSACHUSETTS - Two CT7-8 turboshaft engines performed flawlessly during their recent 1.4-hour maiden flight, powering the Sikorsky S-92 helicopter.

The flight, which included sideward flight of 35 knots and forward flight of 120 knots, marked the beginning of a flight test program focused on FAA certification of the CT7-8-powered S-92 in early 2002.

Developed jointly by GE and FiatAvio of Italy, the CT7-8 is currently undergoing engine certification testing and has already successfully completed small and medium bird ingestion, ice and hail ingestion, altitude, environmental, and overspeed tests. Engine certification by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) is targeted for completion before the end of 2000.

With a takeoff rating of over 2500 shaft horsepower, the CT7-8 is the newest and most powerful member of the T700/CT7 engine family, which has become the standard powerplant for medium helicopters throughout the world. Featuring a new, increased-flow compressor incorporating technology developed through the U.S. Army's Joint Turbine Advanced Gas Generator (JTAGG) program, plus an advanced dual-channel full-authority digital electronic control (FADEC), the CT7-8 is the most advanced turboshaft engine in the world today.

The 25,000-pound-class Sikorsky S-92 has been designed for a variety of missions, including search and rescue, offshore oil rig support, medevac, and troop transport. It is expected to enter service in 2002.