When you’ve proudly delivered a product for nearly 35 years, there are certain to be big highlights along the way.
One that certainly stands out for GE Aviation’s military turboshaft business is the 4,000 operating hours and nine years on-wing without an engine removal/overhaul amassed by the T700-401C-powered U.S. Navy Seahawk. The milestones are a true testament to the reliability of this workhorse engine and its maintainable single-spool design.
“We strive to provide optimum engine performance and readiness levels to all our helicopter customers,” said Craig Ackerman, Director T700/CT7 Product Support Engineering. “When an engine achieves noteworthy metrics such as these, it further reinforces our engineering prowess and the quality of our products.”
The single-spool design is also a fundamental characteristic that GE believes will enable its new T901 engine to meet the challenging ITEP performance requirements without sacrificing maintainability. The modular architecture of the T901 reduces complexity, resulting in lower weight and increased reliability for the warfighter. The single-spool architecture provides superior growth capability as proven by the T700 single-spool core design, which has grown power by 100%.
GE Aviation has been dedicated to powering the Navy’s and Marine Corps’ global Seahawk fleet since the T700-400 first shipped in 1984. Today, the inventory includes nearly 2,400 engines serving these two military branches, powering not only the MH-60 R/S, but also the Bell UH-1Y and UH-1Z helicopters as well. And since 1988 when the -401C was first introduced, the Navy has upgraded all of its helicopters with this engine.
And neither the aircraft nor their GE engines are going anywhere anytime soon, with both expected to be in service well into the 2040s.
All told, the -401C powers multiple Sikorsky H-60 Black Hawk variants for the Army, Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard, as well as the Army’s Boeing AH-64 Longbow Apache.