Proven . . . Year after Year . . . Battle after Battle . . . Save after Save . . . Today and Tomorrow.
This Sikorsky slogan was created to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the T700-powered Black Hawk – and it truly captures the mission, mantra and results of the aircraft and its engines since it first took to the skies.
On Oct. 31, 1978, Sikorsky delivered the first H-60 Black Hawk to the U.S. Army. Since then, the utility helicopter has steadfastly flown in and out of countless combat zones and natural disaster areas to save lives and deliver critical supplies, thanks in large part to the reliability of its twin T700 powerplants. Now, more than 4,000 Black Hawks of all types are in service, providing vital military and commercial aviation support to the U.S. and 30 other countries around the world.
GE Aviation’s Lynn facility delivered its inaugural production T700 for the Black Hawk in March of ’78, marked by a ceremony that included then Army Black Hawk Program Manager COL Richard Kenyon who challenged the GE team to “be responsive to the pilots, crew chiefs and mechanics.”
And GE has embraced that challenge, continuously incorporating new technology and materials to enhance T700 reliability and performance and reduce its cost.
At an Oct. 29 ceremony at GE Aviation in Lynn to recognize the 40-year service milestone, this commitment was reinforced. U.S. Army COL Roger Kuykendall, Project Manager, Aviation Turbine Engines, attended the event and remarked about his extensive, personal mission involvement with the Black Hawk during his time as an infantryman, during which he flew in, jumped out of and hung from a rope out of the workhorse helicopter.
“Every time I stepped onto that Black Hawk, I knew that I was going to get home from that mission safely or get from point A to point B safely,” COL Kuykendall remarked. “That is a testament to each one of you that helped produce such a reliable and quality engine. Thanks for providing that blanket of confidence for the soldier for the past 40 years.”
Sikorsky Vice President of Army & Air Force Systems Dana Fiatarone said, “I want to thank you for your hard work, dedication and steadfast commitment to the T700 engine and the Black Hawk program. We’re honored to provide our country’s men and women in uniform with a proven multirole aircraft they can count on to perform their missions every day.”
Employees were also treated to an in-plant Black Hawk visit the following day. Hundreds gathered around to watch the helicopter land/take off and got up-close-and-personal with one of the primary T700 platforms they support.
The Black Hawk is expected to operate into the 2070s, and system upgrades will continue to allow the helicopter to meet customer-mission requirements. One of the major modification programs is the replacement engine for Black Hawks and Apaches (ITEP) that is being bid on by GE and ATEC (Pratt & Whitney-Honeywell consortium) in a winner-take-all competition. The Army is seeking a new turboshaft engine to provide 50% more power, 25% better specific fuel consumption while reducing life cycle costs.
Building on its unparalleled record on both helicopter platforms, GE has designed the new T901, a single-spool engine that meets all ITEP requirements with fewer parts, a simpler design, and proven, reliable technology.
GE stands ready to take the Black Hawk and U.S. Army into the future of rotorcraft aviation . . . and on another successful 40-year ride. Learn more about how GE’s T901 engine delivers superior readiness to the Warfighter here, or visit GET901.com.