GE Officially Opens Presidential Helicopter Engine Facility
LYNN, MASS. - - GE - Aviation officially opened its new Presidential Helicopter engine facility at the Lynn, Massachusetts, plant. The dedicated area in Lynn Product Development & Delivery will house the assembly and shipment operations of engines for the next-generation "Marine One" helicopter that will be used by the President of the United States.
The prime contractor, Lockheed Martin Systems Integration (Owego, NY) has awarded GE a $65-million contract to provide CT7-8E and CT7-8CE1 engines for use during the system development & demonstration (SDD) phase of the Presidential Helicopter Replacement program.
The new helicopter, expected to be in service for up to four decades, was officially designated VH-71 in July 2005. Three 2,500 shaft-horsepower GE engines will power each helicopter. The first VH-71 is scheduled to be operational during the fourth quarter of 2009, with the entire fleet of 23 aircraft delivered to the Marine One squadron by late 2014.
Representatives from the U.S. Navy and Lockheed Martin joined hundreds of GE employees for the ribbon-cutting event.
Ed Birtwell, GE Vice President of Turboshaft Engines, commented, "This represents a significant investment in equipment and resources, and signifies our dedication to providing world-class engines to this critical program. We are proud of our role and we look forward to supporting this new presidential helicopter."
Certified by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in 2004, the CT7-8E is a derivative of GE's successful T700/CT7 family of turboprop and turboshaft engines, powering 25 types of helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft in service with more than 130 customers in more than 50 countries. The CT7-8E engine combines proven technology and performance with advanced design, technologies and adaptability that make it ideally suited for this helicopter application.
The VH-71 is based on the US101 helicopter, the American variant of AgustaWestland's EH101 multi-mission helicopter. AgustaWestland and Bell are responsible for the basic air vehicle design, production build, and basic air vehicle support functions. More than 200 suppliers in 41 U.S. states support the VH-71 program.
GE - Aviation, an operating unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE), manufactures jet engines for civil and military aircraft. GE also provides maintenance and support services for jet engines.