GE Aerospace today announced the acceptance of the first two T901-GE-900 flight test engines for the US Army. Engines for the next generation helicopters – which will power the US Army’s UH-60 Black Hawk, AH-64 Apache and FARA – have been officially accepted by the Defense Contract Management Agency at GE’s Lynn, Massachusetts facility .
The first two T901-GE-900s for flight testing
GE Aerospace today announced the acceptance of the first two T901-GE-900 flight test engines for the US Army, which will support the program (Competitive Prototype) Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA), literally (competitive prototype) future reconnaissance aircraft. Engines for the next generation helicopters – which will power the US Army’s UH-60 Black Hawk, AH-64 Apache and FARA – have been officially accepted by the Defense Contract Management Agency at GE’s Lynn, Massachusetts facility . Thus the American army will replace the T700 which currently equips the fleet of AH-64 and UH-60 (Apache and Black Hawk) with the T901-GE-900 engine which is intended to be entirely modular, as part of the phase of Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) of the US Army’s Improved Turbine Engine Program (ITEP).
The T901 engine draws on the experience of GE, which has powered the Black Hawk and Apache for forty years with its T700 engine, experience which has translated into more than 100 million flight hours. With the new T901 engine, GE Aviation has chosen to retain certain aspects of the T700 engine design, namely a single-body architecture. The choice of this arrangement coupled with that of limiting the number of rotating assemblies in the engine aimed to maintain low cost, reliability and maintainability while allowing growth and reduction of life cycle costs. The T901 was developed to meet a need for increased power in the US military. The new engine delivers 50% more power and lowers life cycle costs with fewer parts and a simpler design. The engine’s fuel efficiency will improve the range, standby time and fuel consumption of the sustainable fleet, while reducing maintenance and uptime costs.
CMC and additive manufacturing
The T901 design leverages an impressive set of commercial technologies, including 3D modeling, the use of ceramic matrix composites (CMC) and 3D printed (additive) parts. The use of CMC and additive manufacturing allows the engine to produce more power with less weight. Another notable feature of the T901 is its modular design, an aspect carried over from the legendary T700. Modular design is one of the keys to T901’s low cost, growth, reliability, maintainability and life cycle cost reduction. Through the application of this proven technology, the T901 can easily integrate with the Army’s existing helicopters while exceeding performance requirements. Beyond the advanced design and hardware, the T901 features the latest diagnostic and prognostic tools with a modular architecture that allows the service to have the flexibility to improve readiness for the lowest life cycle costs. lower.