LYNN, Massachusetts - GE's T700-GE-701D turboshaft engine, the latest generation of T700s powering U.S. Army Black Hawk and Apache helicopters, was recently awarded U.S. Army qualification and is now in production. Rated at 2,000 shaft horsepower (shp), the T700-GE-701D features improved hot-section components that provide twice the hot-section durability and 5 percent more power than the current T700-GE-701C model engine. 

The U.S. Army plans to convert its entire fleet of Black Hawk and Apache helicopters to the T700-GE-701D. 

The qualification of the T700-GE-701D occurs almost exactly 30 years after the original YT700-GE-700 engine powered the first flight of the Sikorsky prototype Black Hawk helicopter. 

GE's line of T700/CT7 engines continues to grow with the introduction of more powerful models. In April of this year, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) granted Type Certification to new models of GE's CT7-8 turboshaft engine, including the CT7-8A, -8B, -8E and -8F. 

These new CT7-8 models are the only FAA-certified engines in the 2600-shp class available for today's modern medium-lift helicopters. They feature an increased-flow compressor for more power, improved hot-section materials (common with the T700-GE-701D), and a modern full authority digital electronic control (FADEC) system. These CT7-8 engines will power the U.S. VXX Presidential helicopter, and they are proposed for the U.S. Air Force Personnel Recovery Vehicle (PRV) and for the upgraded Sikorsky MH-60 Black Hawk helicopter for U.S. Army Special Operations Forces. In addition, the CT7-8A was recently selected for the Canadian MHP maritime patrol helicopter. 

The CT7-8C is the newest and most powerful engine in the T700/CT7 family. Currently in development testing, the CT7-8C has demonstrated over 3,100 shp, more than double the power of the original T700-GE-700. The CT7-8C incorporates upgraded materials in the turbine and a new, advanced three-stage power turbine, compared with the two-stage power turbine of earlier CT7-8 engines. The CT7-8C also features the advanced, fully redundant, dual-channel FADEC system with which the entire CT7-8 engine family is equipped. 

"The CT7-8C engine is designed for the anticipated future power needs of our customers," said Ed Birtwell, GE's vice president, Turboshaft Engines, "and all of this capability is in a package that fits into the same bay as did the original T700 engine thirty years ago." 

GE Transportation - Aircraft Engines, a part of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE), is one of the world's leading manufacturers of jet engines for civil and military aircraft.