GE38 Turboshaft Engine Achieves Record Time at Temperature
300-hour durability test proves hardware ready for flight
LYNN, MASSACHUSETTS - GE Aviation's largest turboshaft engine - the GE38 - has completed a 300-hour cyclic durability test on the road toward qualification for the U.S. Marine Corps' future CH-53K heavy-lift helicopter.
"The prototype GE38 engine completed one of the toughest engine tests we have ever run at GE, spending the longest time at maximum redline temperatures of any engine in GE history," said Paul Acquaviva, GE Aviation's GE38 program director. "We're pleased with the remarkable performance retention and durability this new engine has demonstrated to date. We remain committed to delivering an engine that exceeds customer expectations."
The GE38 engine will give the CH-53K helicopter the power to carry a 27,000-pound external load over a mission radius of 110 nautical miles in hot weather conditions, nearly triple the external load carrying capacity of the service's current CH-53E SUPER STALLION™ aircraft.
When compared to its predecessor - the T64 turboshaft engine that powers the SUPER STALLION aircraft - the 7500 shaft horsepower class GE38 will provide more than 50 percent more power, 18 percent better specific fuel consumption and 63 percent fewer parts. To date, GE has logged more than 3,100 hours of total factory testing, and expects to finish all engine testing in 2014.
GE is part of an industry team led by Stratford, Conn.-based Sikorsky Aircraft that is assembling prototype CH-53K aircraft for first flight in late 2014. The Marine Corps expect to stand up the first CH-53K heavy lift helicopter squadron in 2019. The U.S. Navy program of record is for 200 aircraft.
At the conclusion of the most recent testing, the GE38 was verified to meet the USMC's new engine performance requirements, with ample margin to the customer's specific fuel consumption target. These results demonstrate the inherent durability and performance retention characteristics of the GE38 engine, which will contribute to a significantly lower life cycle cost for the US Marine Corps.
GE has now completed all engine tests required for the flight test, which is expected for late 2014. In July, GE was awarded a System Development Test Article contract from the U.S. Navy for critical parts in advance of Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP).
GE Aviation, an operating unit of GE (NYSE: GE), is a world-leading provider of jet, turboshaft and turboprop engines, components and integrated systems for commercial, military, business and general aviation aircraft. GE Aviation has a global service network to support these offerings.