New Black Hawk Turboshaft Engine Enters Testing Stage, 50 Percent More Powerful Than T700

Although less front and center than fixed-wing aircraft, American military helicopters are at the subject of modernizations efforts as well. And, as it looks to come up with new machines that can take to the sky, the American military is also trying to upgrade the existing hardware.
T901-GE-900 helicopter engine 7 photos
Photo: GE
T901-GE-900 helicopter engineT901-GE-900 helicopter engineT901-GE-900 helicopter engineT901-GE-900 helicopter engineT901-GE-900 helicopter engineT901-GE-900 helicopter engine
For the UH-60 Black Hawk and AH-64 Apache, the U.S. Army tapped in 2019 General Electric (GE) for its new T901-GE-900, the “next-generation rotorcraft engine” being developed by the American company. This powerplant will be replacing the existing T700 units in the Black Hawk and Apache.

This week, GE announced it has begun testing the T901, and it does so in a revamped facility in Lynn, Massachusetts. The facility had to be revamped in order to handle the increased power of the engine, which comes in at 50 percent more than what the T700 was capable of – depending on specs, the T700 was rated at between 1,915 and 1,768 shaft horsepower.

Despite the insane power levels, the new powerplant should be 25 percent more fuel-efficient, says its maker. It will also have lower lifecycle costs, while being compatible with “the same aircraft mounting and installation envelope as the T700.”

The tests being conducted in Lynn are just the first in an effort that would probably take years. GE will also put aspects of the engine through their paces at its facilities in Ohio. For now, work will focus on “a number of simulated flight conditions to collect performance data of the highly instrumented test engine.”

“We’re excited to get testing started on this engine. It’s the biggest milestone to date in the ITE program and the result of the strong collaboration between the GE and U.S. Army teams,” said in a statement GE T901 Program Director Tom Champion.

“The early testing data we’ve gathered indicates the engine is performing in line with our expectations and Army requirements.”

Aside from the Black Hawk and the Apache, the T901 will also make its way onto the upcoming Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA).

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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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