GE Aerospace is accumulating hardware for the second T901-GE-900 development engine that will begin testing next year. The T901, GE’s next-generation rotorcraft engine, will power the U.S. Army’s UH-60 Black Hawk, AH-64 Apache, and Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA). Engine testing is part of the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase of the Army’s Improved Turbine Engine (ITE) program.
“Testing of the first T901 engine was very successful with the engine accumulating more than 100 hours of run time,” said Tom Champion, GE’s T901 Program Director. “We were impressed with the performance and condition of the engine’s compressor, combustor, and turbine sections as well as the 3D-printed (additive) manufactured parts and ceramic matrix composite (CMC) components.”
The second T901 engine will undergo performance and controls testing in an upgraded test cell at GE’s Lynn, Massachusetts facility. GE upgraded three Lynn test cells for the T901 EMD engine test program. Upgrades included new systems to absorb the engine’s increased power, allow for no-load operation, improve instrumentation capability, and advance engine test controls. The second development engine will then travel to GE’s Evendale, Ohio, facility for altitude testing.
A total of eight T901 engines will be part of a multi-year test campaign to the Army Military Airworthiness Certification Criteria standards. These standards will ensure an engine meets the Army’s requirements for design, production, and airworthiness. Once all testing is complete, the T901 engine will have undergone close to 1,500 hours of full-scale ground testing for preliminary flight rating and close to 5,000 hours of testing for full engine qualification.