GE Positioned to Deliver for U.S. Army’s Future Vertical Lift Modernization
(Source: GE Aviation; issued Oct 14, 2019)
EVENDALE, OH --- GE Aviation’s capability to execute and deliver the most advanced turboshaft engines for the U.S. Army’s Future Vertical Lift (FVL) modernization is accelerating, leaving GE well-positioned to deliver unique, multi-generational military products for the next generation of rotorcraft.

By the end of 2020, GE Aviation will complete the transition of nearly 1,000 engineers from its commercial programs to its military programs. This has been a strategic three-year process to meet the U.S. military’s need to upgrade and improve the number of aircraft available at any given time. This includes support of Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA), Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) and the Future Affordable Turbine Engine (FATE) program.

Here’s a current overview at GE’s progress on next-generation rotorcraft with the Army:

-- T901
GE Aviation is committed to the Army’s goal of accelerating the testing and delivery of GE’s T901 engine to enable fielding of ITE-powered Boeing AH-64 Apaches and Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawks as soon as possible.

GE’s T901 engine was developed to improve capabilities for the Warfighter. The T901 engine meets or exceeds all Army requirements for the 3,000 shp Improved Turbine Engine Program (ITEP). Compared to GE’s T700 which reliably powers the Army’s Black Hawk and Apache fleets, the T901 engine offers more than a 50 percent increase in power, better fuel efficiency and lower lifecycle costs while minimizing other changes to these helicopters.

A team of 250 employees and growing in Lynn, Mass., and Cincinnati, Ohio, is executing on the Engineering Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase of ITEP. GE has completed kickoff meetings and initial technical reviews and is now manufacturing long lead hardware for the T901 program’s first engine to test (FETT) to achieve the accelerated schedule.

ITEP is a fundamental piece of the Army’s modernization focus, which includes using the T901 engine in FARA, capability set one of FVL. The Army has selected GE’s 3,000-shp T901 for FARA.

“We’re ready to execute on this contract and deliver the improved capabilities of the T901 to the Warfighter,” said Tony Mathis, president and CEO of GE Aviation’s Military Systems business. “We’ve invested in the resources and infrastructure to execute immediately and we are honored to be chosen by the Army to continue powering their Black Hawks and Apaches for decades to come.”

GE continues to develop technologies in the FATE program with the Army. FATE is designed to meet a series of aggressive goals including a 35% improvement in specific fuel consumption, 80% increase in power-to-weight, 20% improvement in design life and 45% reduction in production and maintenance costs relative to currently fielded engines. FATE technologies are critical to enabling future turboshaft engines as well as upgrades of all GE engines including engines to power FLRAA aircraft.

-- T408
GE Aviation, in coordination with the Army and Boeing, is preparing for ground testing on a CH-47F Chinook powered by two GE T408 turboshaft engines. Ground testing is scheduled to begin in October and run for six weeks with 25 hours of flight tests planned immediately afterward.

This demonstration is to evaluate the feasibility and benefits of higher-power engines while assessing and reducing the technical risks of integrating advanced engines in a Chinook aircraft. At 7,500 shaft horsepower, the T408 engine provides a combined 5,000 shp more than the legacy Chinook engines. This effort is proceeding under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA).

GE is also developing a derivative T408 turboshaft engine which incorporates FATE learnings and technologies for the larger FLRAA program with the intent to deliver the Army a military-qualified, off-the-shelf engine that meets FLRAA requirements.

Three 7,500 shp-rated T408 engines provide the power for the U.S. Navy’s CH-53K King Stallion, enabling the aircraft to carry a 27,000-pound external load over a mission radius of 110 nautical miles in Navy high/hot weather conditions.

-- YT706
GE is collaborating on the single-engine Sikorsky S-97 Raider with its YT706 engine, a 2,600 shaft-horsepower T700 variant that includes a FADEC. The Raider aircraft is an industry-funded, risk-reduction demonstrator that is supporting Sikorsky’s entry into FVL, FARA and FLRAA initiatives.

“Since engine selection, we’ve continued to collaborate closely with Sikorsky to ensure our YT706-700 engine is properly mated to the aircraft and is prepared to provide optimum performance,” said John Martin, GE’s Director of Advanced Turboshaft Programs, who added that there were several design-installation challenges and specific requirements to accommodate single-engine features.

-- T64
GE Aviation continues to team with Bell on the advancement of the V-280 Valor. GE is providing logistical, engineering, integration and onsite flight test support of the Valor’s T64-419 engines. GE remains committed to supporting the Bell test plan through the end of the Technical Demonstration phase.

The V-280 reached its namesake cruising speed of 280 knots true airspeed in January. As the program evolves, V-280 flight testing will continue to prove out Bell’s key performance parameters and reduce FVL risk in the U.S. Army led Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator (JMR-TD) program. The next stages will expand the performance envelope highlighting further low-speed agility maneuvers, angles of bank and autonomous flight.

“This is a unique opportunity for us to partner on a technology initiative and for our proven T64 engine to expand its horizons,” said Linda Smith, Director of the T408 and T64 programs.

-- Open Systems
GE Aviation is maturing elements of the Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA) initiative. Its efforts will allow FVL mission systems to be more easily upgraded over a quicker timeline and at a lower cost. GE has completed Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator (JMR-TD) projects to incorporate MOSA elements within the mission system architecture and development process. These elements include maturing model-based systems engineering processes and tools, refining government-owned reference architectures, employing open standards and exploring data rights to allow for future competition.

GE Aviation, an operating unit of GE is a world-leading provider of jet and turboprop engines, components and integrated systems for commercial, military, business and general aviation aircraft. GE Aviation has a global service network to


Honeywell's T55 Engine Upgrade to Provide More Power, Better Fuel Efficiency for U.S. Army's CH-47 Chinook
(Source: Honeywell; issued Oct 14, 2019)
WASHINGTON --- Honeywell is finalizing a new and improved T55 engine to power the U.S. Army's Chinook helicopters. The newest upgrade for the legendary T55 will offer over 20% more power at sea level, a nearly 10% power increase at high and hot altitudes, and use 9% less fuel than before.

This new variant of the T55 will also greatly reduce ownership costs, improving the overall value of what is already one of the most battle-tested engines in the history of warfare.

This current round of optimization and risk-reduction testing is a continuation of Honeywell's internally funded upgrade program for the T55, which has powered Chinook helicopters around the globe for more than five decades. The new T55 also represents the lowest risk to integrate onto the Chinook, as it already fits in the existing nacelle and maintains all the same connections to the aircraft.

"Honeywell is committed to continually improving the T55 engine to meet military needs and developing reliable, time-tested engines that require less maintenance and can withstand harsh environments," said Dave Marinick, vice president, engines, Honeywell Aerospace. "Our dedication in continually improving the T55 is a testament to more than five successful decades working alongside the U.S. Army to protect and serve its soldiers."

The new T55 updates do not require changes to the helicopter engine mount or engine interfaces, making the T55 engine the ideal drop-in replacement. The upgrades include advanced compressor technology, which results in more horsepower and range to continue to support the evolving heavy lift needs of the Chinook. Other benefits include reliability and maintainability improvements as well as lower engine maintenance costs. This engine upgrade will be fully compatible with the U.S. Army's existing T55 infrastructure, tooling, support equipment and organic capabilities, thus further reducing lifecycle costs compared with alternatives.

"Upgrading the combat-proven T55 is the lowest cost and lowest risk path to keeping Chinook fleets operating at maximum efficiency," Marinick said. "There is no better option for today's warfighter."

The T55 engine has been in operation on the CH-47 Chinook helicopter for nearly 57 years, with more than 6,000 T55 engines having been produced and logging some 12 million hours of operation.

"The engine is a stepping stone to what Honeywell believes could be the lowest cost, best-value offering for propulsion power for U.S. military future long-range assault aircraft (FLRAA), part of the Future Vertical Lift (FVL) Program," Marinick said.

The new offering will be available as both a new engine version and a low-cost kit to upgrade engines during overhauls. More than 1,000 Chinook engines can increase their capabilities, while simultaneously lowering operational costs.

Honeywell Aerospace products and services are found on virtually every commercial, defense and space aircraft. The Aerospace business unit builds aircraft engines, cockpit and cabin electronics, wireless connectivity systems, mechanical components and more. Its hardware and software solutions create more fuel-efficient aircraft, more direct and on-time flights and safer skies and airports.

Honeywell is a Fortune 100 technology company that delivers industry specific solutions that include aerospace products and services; control technologies for buildings and industry; and performance materials globally. Our technologies help everything from aircraft, buildings, manufacturing plants, supply chains, and workers become more connected to make our world smarter, safer, and more sustainable


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