The U.S. Army has accepted two GE Aerospace T901-GE-900 flight-test turboshaft engines for its Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) Competitive Prototype program, a project that seeks to replace the power sources for future military rotary aircraft, like the UH-60 Black Hawk and AH-64 Apache helicopters.
According to GE Aerospace, the T901 addresses the U.S. Army’s need for increased engine power. Based on the current T700 turboshaft engine, the developer claims the T901 provides 50% more power and 25% better fuel consumption, with lower lifecycle costs than the T700, with fewer parts and a simpler design.
Also, GE Aerospace said the new engine’s fuel efficiency will improve the Army’s helicopter fleet range and loiter time (time spent over a target.)
The new engine design incorporates several already-commercialized technologies, including 3D modelling, ceramic matrix composite material, and 3D printed parts. The latter two components allow the T901 to produce more power with less weight. The T901 engine draws on GE’s design experience with the T700, which has logged over 100 million flight hours on U.S. Army Black Hawk and Apache helicopters over more than four decades.
“We are thrilled to announce the acceptance of the revolutionary T901 by the U.S. Army,” according to GE Amy Gowder, president and CEO, Defense & Systems at GE Aerospace. “The performance, power, and reliability of the T901 – combined with GE’s decades of experience powering Army rotorcraft – will ensure our warfighters have a significant advantage on the battlefield.”